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NY PUBLIC LIBRARY THE BRANCH LIBRARIES 



3 3333 08093 4371 













LITTLE TUK. See page 34, 



STORIES AND TALES 



BY 



HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN 

AUTHOR OF "WONDER STORIES TOLD FOR CHILDREN" 



ILLUSTPATED BY M. L. STONE AND V. PEDERSEN 



Coition 




BOSTON AND NEW YORK 
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY 
tftoerjjttje rese, 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1870, by 

HURD AND HOUGHTON, 

in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 



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CONTENTS. 



THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY 

CUMULATION DEPARTMENT 

NATHAN STRAUS BRANCH 348 EAST 32ntf STREET 



A PICTURE BOOK WITHOUT PICTURES ..... i 

LITTLE TUK ... . 34 

IB AND CHRISTINE .... . -39 

FIVE OUT OF ONE SHELL 52 

CHARMING ... 56 

PEITER, PETER, AND PEER .... 64 

THE ICE MAIDEN ... . . 70 

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE THISTLE . . .121 

THE STORY OF THE YEAR . . . 126 

THE LOVELIEST ROSE IN THE WORLD ... 135 

A PICTURE FROM THE CASTLE RAMPARTS 138 

THE ELDER TREE MOTHER . . . 139 

A VISION OF THE LAST DAK .... 147 

THE GREENIES . . 152 

WHAT ONE CAN INVENT .... .154 

" IT 's QUITE TRUE ! " , 158 

ANNE LISBETH . .... .161 

THE CANDLES . . .171 

GOOD HUMOR , . . 174 

THE PRINCESS ON THE PEA 178 

THE OLD STREET LAMP . 180 

EVERYTHING IN ITS RIGHT FLACK .*., ,v, . . 187 

IN A THOUSAND YEARS . . V ',: ^ j . 196 

A STRING OF PEARLS . . , ^., . 198 

THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY THING > vv . . . . 205 

UNDER THE WILLOW-TREE. \ J : >.'' . . . 209 

"THERE'S A DIFFERENCE" ;.;,' \\\ >\ ',C . , 225 

A LEAF FROM THE SKY . ' ,->'.; , ^ ' ,'.'. V* 22f > 

CHILDREN'S PRATTLE . 231 

THE SWANS NEST 234 

PSYCHE , 236 

THE OLD GRAVE-STONE 244 

THE COMET .... ...... 247 

FROM A WINDOW IN VARTOU . . . . . . 252 



IV CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

Two MAIDENS .... .261 

"!N THE UTTERMOST PARTS OF THE Six" .... 263 

THE WINDMILL .... 266 

THE NECK OF A BOTTLE .... ... 269 

GOLDEN TREASURE . ... . . 279 

GREAT-GRANDFATHER . 287 

HOLGER DANSKE . . 292 

THE OLD BACHELOR'S NIGHTCAP 297 

LUCK MAY LIE IN A PlN . ..... 308 

"SOMETHING." . . 311 

THE WIND'S TALE 317 

THE HORN-BOOK ... 329 

THE OLD OAK-TREE'S LAST DREAM . ... 334 

THE THORNY PATH OF HONOR ..... 340 

OLE THE WATCHMAN . , 344 

THE DAYS OF THE WEEK 350 

DANISH POPULAR LEGENDS 353 

THE CHILD IN THE GRAVE . 361 

' WHAT THE GOOD-MAN DOES is SURE TO BE RIGHT ! " . . 366 

THE JEWISH GIRL . 371 

Two BROTHERS . . 376 

THE OLD CHURCH-BELL .... . 378 

THE LAST PEARL . . 383 

THE BISHOP OF BORGLUM AND HIS KINDRED .... 386 

THE STORM MOVES THE SIGN-BOARDS 392 

KEPT CLOSE is NOT FORGOTTEN . . . 396 

THE PORTER'S SON ... 399 

AUNTY 417 

CHICKEN-GRETHE'S FAMILY 423 

THE BIRD OF POPULAR SONG 437 

THE TEA-POT .... , 440 

THE MUSE OF THE COMING AGE .;..., 442 

THE WiLL-o'-iTiK Wis<? is JN THE TO-YN " .... 448 

THE STORY OF A MOTHER . L 'V 460 

WHICH WAS THE HAPPIEST '- i.^ 466 

THE DROP OF WA'^ER . \\ W .. 47* 

THE SHEPHERDESS ANT) THE .CHIMNEY -SWEEP .... 473 

THE ROSE-ELF "</ '*./" {/"i 47& 

THE BUTTERFLY .''.'.' 483 

A STORY FROM THE SAND HILLS .... . 486 

THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL 520 

FLITTING DAY ... 523 

THE RAGS 528 

WHAT THE WHOLE FAMILY SAID . . . 530 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



PAGE 

LITTLE TUK Frontispiece 

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE THISTLE 122 

THE CANDLES .... 172 

THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY THING 206 

THE COMET . . . 248 

GREAT-GRANDFATHER ... 288 

DANISH POPULAR LEGENDS . 354 

CHICKEN-GRETHE'S FAMILY ...... . 424 



ADVERTISEMENT. 



THE present volume of Hans Christian Andersen's " Stories 
ind Tales " is the complement of the volume entitled " Wondei 
Stories told for Children." It was found impossible to bring 
all of his shorter stories and fancies within the compass of a 
single volume, and in making the division some regard was 
had to that which he has himself several times pointed out, 
that his stories are sometimes pure inventions of fancy and 
sometimes have their root in historic incidents or events, and 
scenes of which he has been cognizant. At the same time, any 
one who made the attempt to separate these writings exactly 
upon such a line would find, as Andersen himself has said, 
that after all one must accept the undiscriminating term of 
popular usage and call them all stories. Thus the companion 
volume is not all fancy, and this is not all fact ; the elements 
are mingled, and reasons of convenience have sometimes caused 
a manifest departure from the rule laid down. Still, in a 
rough way, the two volumes do each represent strongly one 
and the other of these elements. 

In the twenty-seventh volume of his " Collected Writings, 
\ndersen has given a number of notes with a view to present- 
.ng briefly the origin and succession of his lesser stones. As 
such comments by an author on his own work ari never de- 
void of interest, it has been thought expedient to reproduce 
hem in this place. 

At Christmas, 1829, there was published a little collection of poems, 
which closed with a wonder story given in prose, " The Ghost " ; it waa 
one which I had heard as a child, and now told in a manner something like 
Musaeus, but it did not take until several years after, when it appeared in 
another shape as " The Travelling Companion." 

tn " In the Harz Mountains " (1831) appeared for the first time the true 



Vlll ADVERTISEMENT. 

wonder story vein, in the form of a story about an old king who was suit 
he never had heard a lie, and so promised that any one who should tell 
him one should have the princess and half the kingdom. 

" Wonder Stories told for Children," the first part came out in 1835 in 
JL little volume of 61 pages, containing " The Tinder-box," " Little Claus 
and Big Claus," " The Princess on the Pea," and " Little Ida's Flowers." In 
style one ought to hear the narrator ; these stories were therefore made 
to suggest oral delivery; they were told for children, but their elders 
also were to be allowed to hear them. The three first, named I had heard 
in my childhood amongst spinners and hop gatherers. " Little Ida's Flow- 
ers, " on the other hand, arose from hearing the poet Thiele tell his littlt 
daughter Ida about the flowers in the Botanic Garden ; a few of the child's 
comments I retained and repeated when I afterward wrote out the story. 

A second part of 60 pages came out in 1836 and contained "Thumb- 
ling," " The Naughty Boy," and " The Travelling Companion." The yeai 
after a third pait followed, in which were " The Little Sea-maid," and " The 
Emperor's New Clothes." The whole collection was now gathered intc 
one volume and furnished with a title-page, table of contents, and a few 
words of preface, in which I said how little these stories seemed to strike 
people, and I gave some explanation as to the source from which I had 
obtained the material. Among the Danish popular stories which I had 
heard as a child and here told afresh, may be classed " The Tinder-box," 
*' Little Claus and Big Claus," " The Princess on the Pea," and " The 
Travelling Companion." In Anacreon's poems may be found the fable of 
"The Naughty Boy." "The Emperor's New Clothes," which closes the 
part, is of Spanish origin ; for the amusing idea we are indebted to Prince 
Don Manuel, born 1277, died 1347. l The only ones of my own invention 
are " Little Ida's Flowers," " Thumbling," and " The Little Sea-maid "; 
these three must therefore be named as my first three original wonder 
..tories. The last of these attracted some attention and gave me the wist 
thereafter to invent for myself; and in 1838 appeared such a story, larger 
than my previous ones, " The Galoshes of Fortune." The same vearj at 
Christmas, followed the first part of a new collection ; in it were " The 
Daisy" " The Constant Tin Soldier," both of which were my own invention, 
and " The Wild Swans," adapted from a Danish popular story. A second 
pan contained " The Garden of Paradise," " The Flying Trunk," and 
" The Storks." The first is one of the many stories which I had heard as 
a child, and which I always wished longer : the four winds must tell our 
more ; the Garden of Paradise be shown still more clearly. Now I essayed 
it. " The Flying Trunk " has its motif horn the "Arabian Nights." " The 
Storks " was founded on popular belief, and on the child's verse which u 
called out to the storks. 

In the years 1840 and 1841, after a journey to Greece and Constantinople, 
there came " A Poet's Bazaar ": from this " The Money-pig, " Friendship's 
Poet," and " A Rose from Homer's Grave " were taken and reproduced i* 

1 The same idea is also employed by Cervan*r? in one of his ma?*srly interludes (" ftj. 
') translated into German, and entitled " The Wonder Theatre." 



ADVERTISEMENT. iX 



the German collected edition of my Wonder Stories, illustrated by V 
dersen. They are now incorporated also in the Danish edition. 

The third part of " Wonder Stories told for Children " came out in 1842, 
containing " Ole Shut-eye," " The Rose-elf," " The Swineherd," and " The 
Bu:kwheat." In the one called "Ole Shut-eye" the idea alone is given 
oi a being who makes children sleepy at his coming ; Ole Shut-eye was 
embodied thus in the story, and in a comedy I brought him in person on 
the stage, and now quite recently the young sculptor Schierbeck has mod 
eleci in terra cotta our little dream Nis. The idea of the "Rose-elf" ia 
a& suggested by an Italian folk-song. "The Swineherd " has a few tracts 
oi an old Danish popular story, which could not properly be reproduced 
in the form in which I heard it when a child. The story of " The Buck- 
wheat " is founded on a common belief that the lightning scorches buck- 
it neat black. With this part closed the second volume, and was dedicated 
to 

"JOHANNE LOUISE HfilBERG. 

We heard it said Faery is dead, 

In fairy tale alone it lives ; 
Thou earnest every true heart said 

That Truth a home to the fairies gives." 

The first dedication was given to Madame Heiberg, not only because she 
then was a great, famous artist, but as one of the few who had most re 
cently expressed their friendliness and their thanks for these writings. 
which were not at that time much regarded. Her kind words, and also H. 
C. Orsted's often expressed pleasure at the humorous element in the stories 
were the first noticeable encouragement I received. 

In the year 1842 I contributed to "Gaea" the story of "The Elder 
Mother," the seed of which lies in Thiele's saying : " There dwells in the 
elder a being who is called Elder Mother, or the elder woman. She re- 
sents every injury done to the tree, and the story goes that a man who 
chopped down an elder-tree, suddenly died shortly after." The Elder 
Mother becomes in the wonder story a Danish Dryad, the memory itself, and 
thus is she later, in a comedy, brought on the stage. The same year was 
contributed to Gerson and Kaalund's " Monthly Journal " the story of " The 
Bell"; this, like nearly all the subsequent stories and tales, is my own 
invention They lie in my thoughts like a seed that needs only a shower, a 
Min's riy, and a drop of wormwood, and it flowers out. What could be 
expressed in the wonder story became to me more and more clear. Ever}; 
yeai 1 came to hav ^ a better knowledge of my own strength a.id its lim- 
itation. 

My stories had won readers, not only among children but also amom^ 
their elders ; when now, in 1845, a new collection appeared; it took the 
sh< Tt title of " New Wonder Stories." This little part, in which one finds 
" '1 he Angel," " The Nightingale," " The Ugly Duckling," and " The Lov- 
ers, was dedicated to the poet Carl Bagger, as " a poor return for the fresh 
thoughts and warm feelings which his rich, poetic writings have inspired 
In me." 



X AD VER TISEMENT. 

The first half of " The Ugly Duckling " was written du/ng \ visit ot 
several days in the summer at Gisselfeldt, and the close was first put upo 
paper a half year afterward, while the other three went through the founder} 
ss it were all at once. With this collection began the greater reputation 
of my Wonder Stories. For " The Angel " the well-known painter, Kaul- 
bach, has since made a charming design, which has found its \vay aveiy- 
where in an engraving. 

In the summer of 1846, upon the occasion of a long visit at Nysdj in 
company with Thorwaldsen, who made himself merry over k< The Lovers " 
and " The Ugly Duckling," he said to me one day, " Come, write us a 
new, amusing wonder story. You can write one on a darning-needle I " 
and so I wrote " The Darning-needle." About the same time came " The 
Grandmother " ; it was remarked that this sketch had a likeness to a poem 
of Lenau's ; I found this so when I read that, and therefore placed Lenau'a 
little poem as a motto to my story when it first was printed, I believe in 
the " Portfolio " ; people saw thus that I knew there was a similarity, but 
they would not believe I had written mine first. 

A second collection, with the two Wonder Stories " The Fir-tree " and 
" The Snow-queen," was dedicated to the writer, Professor Frederick 
Hoegh-Guldberg. " The Fir-tree " was suggested to me one evening in 
the Royal Theatre, during the presentation of the opera " Don Juan," and 
written out that same night. The first chapter of " The Snow-queen " was 
vritten at Maxen, near Dresden ; the remainder at home in Denmark. 

The third collection bore as introduction, " To Henrik Herz ; thanks for 
the works which his deep poetic soul and his rich wit and humor have given 
us." It contained " The Elfin Mound," " The Red Shoes," " The Leap- 
frog," "The Shepherdess and Chimney-sweep," and " Holger Danske." 
In " The Story of my Life " I have related how, at my Confirmation, I 
hid for the first time a pair of shoes " that creaked when I walked over 
the church floor, and it gave me a thrill of pleasure to think that all the 
people in church could now hear that my shoes were new : but my piety 
was disturbed ; I felt it, and had afterward a horrid qualm of conscience that 
my thoughts were quite as much on my shoes as on the good God." The 
smembrance of this suggested the storv " The Red Shoes," which in Hoi- 
i ind and America seems to have won the most renown. " The Leap-frog " 
was the story of a moment, told to some little children who had asked me 
to tell them a story. " Holger Danske " is founded on a Danish popular 
utory, very like the story of Frederick Barbarossa, who sits on the Kyff- 
hauser mountain with his beard grown fast to the table. 

The first collection for the second volume appeared in 1847, inscribed to 
J. L. Heiberg's mother, "the intellectual, highly gifted Madame Gyllem- 
bourg," and contained " The Old Street Lamp," " The Neighboring Fam- 
ilies," " The Darning-needle," " Little Tuk, " and "The Shadow." The 
Btory of" Little Tuk" was thought out during a visit to Oldenborg ; a lew 
recollections from my childhood are included in it. "The Shadow" wai 
composed during a summei stay at Naples, but first written out at Copen- 
hagen. The year after there followed a second collection, which a utaiued 



A D VER TI SEME NT. XI 

* The Old House," " The Drop of Water," " The Little Match Giil," " The 
Happy Family," " The Story of a Mother," and " The Flax." In several of 
the Wonder Stories incidents are found which belong to my older days. I 
liave in "The Story of my Life" mentioned a few such torches which 
are preserved in "The Old House," such as that the poet Mosen's little 
snn gave me, on setting out from Oldenborg, one of his tin soldiers, that 
I might not be so dreadfully alone. The composer Hartmann's little Maria 
was the one who, when two years old, always when she heard music and 
linging, must needs dance to it. When her elder brothers and sisters cams 
into the room ringing a psalm-tune, she began her dance, but her musical 
sense would m.-t let her be out of tune, and so she was kept standing, so 
long as it lasted, first on one foot and then on the other ; she danced in 
perfect psalm-tune measure quite unconsciously. It was for H. C. Orsced 
that "The Drop of Water" was written. " The Little Match Giri " was 
written at the Castle of Graasteen, where I stopped for a few days on 
a journey abroad, and received from Herr Flinch a letter asking me to 
write a story for his almanac to accompany one of three pictures inclosed. 
The picture I chose was that of a little girl with matches. At Glorup, in 
Funen, where I generally spent several days in summer, a part of the gar- 
den was at that time overgrown, as it had been from an early time, with 
great burdocks, planted for the large white snails which were once a deli- 
cacy. The burdock and snail gave me material for the story " The Happy 
Family, 1 ' which was written out later during my first visit to London. 
" The Story of a Mother '' sprang forth without any special cause ; in the 
street, as I was walking, came the thoughts which unfolded themselves 
as I wrote. This story in translation has given great comfort to those 
to whom it applies. The story of "The Flax" was written in 1849, and 
printed then in " Father-land." 

After a journey northward, there came out in 1851 " In Sweden." From 
this there were afterward selected these stories, printed in the German illus- 
trated edition : " The Bird Phoenix," " The Grandmother," " A Story," and 
''The Dumb Book." These were now for the first time illustrated. Al- 
ready several of my Wonder Stories had previously been illustrated in Ger- 
many, by Hosemann, Count Pocci, Ludvig Richter, and Otto Speckter ; 
the last named artist's very charming pictures were afterward used in the 
English edition, under the title "The Gafoshes of Fortune, and other 
Tales." My German publisher, Consul Lorck, in Leipsic, now determined 
*o produce a complete collection of my stories, with illustrations, and asked 
me to find a worthy Danish artist for this purpose, and I found the sinc 
dev tased naval officer, Lieutenant V. Pedersen. The book-seller Reitid 
tftenvard bought electrotypes from Mr. Lorck, and so there appeared in 
1849 the Danish edition with 125 illustrations. 

With this elegant volume the collection of my Wonder Stories was closed, 
but not my activity in this line of composition ; a new title must therefore 
be chosen for my new collection, and this I called " Stories " (" Historier" ), 
a nj*:ne which in our tongue I conceive to be the best chosen for my Won- 
der Stones in all their scope arxd nature. The popular way of talking 



XI] ADVERTISEMENT. 

gives the same title to the simple narrative and the boldest flight of fancy 
nursery tales, fables, and narratives are called by children, peasants, an4 
common people generally, by the short name stories. 

The first little part, published in 1852, contained, " The Story of the Year," 
** The Loveliest Rose in the World," " A Picture from the Castle Ramparts,' 1 
" A Vision of the Last Day," " It's quite True," "The Swan's Nest/ and 
*' Good Humor." In 1853 the next part came out, containing : " Grief of 
Heart," " Everything in its Right Place," " The Nis at the Grocer's," " IB 
a Thousand Years," and " Under the Willow-tree." " Write," said the 
p >et Thiele, " a story about a flute that blows everything in its right place."' 
In these words lay already a complete idea and from it sprang the story. 

When the first edition of the stories was sold, Reitzel, and Lorck in 
Leipsic, arranged together to produce an enlarged edition, also illustrated, 
(ike the recent Wonder Stories. Pedersen made the designs, and there ap- 
peared in 1855 the illustrated stories, in which, beside those already named, 
there was included a single new one, and all those also which were printed 
in the "Danish People's Almanac." These were, "There's a Difference/' 
" Five out of one Shell," " A Leaf from the Sky," "The Old Grave-stone/' 
"Jack the Dullard," " From a Window in Vartou," " Ib and little Chris- 
tine," "The Last Pearl," "Good for nothing," "The Maidens," " In the 
uttermost Part of the Sea," and ' The Money-pig." 

The Wonder Story " There's a Difference " grew out of a visit at Chris- 
tinelund near Praesto : there stood upon the moat an apple-tree in blos- 
som, the very picture of spring- The tree was so pretty and so fragrant 
in my thoughts that I could not be satisfied until I had planted it in a 
story. " Five out of one Shell " has its root in a reminiscence of my child- 
ish home, where a little wooden box filled with earth, in which was planted 
a leek and a single pea, was my own blossoming garden. "The Old 
Grave-stone " is, as it were, a whole mosaic of recollections ; the place 
which my thoughts gave to the story is Svendborg ; there the idea of it 
first was suggested. A worn out grave-stone, which was used as a step out- 
side of the door in Collin's old place on Broad Street, often entered my 
mind, with its half-effaced inscription ; and as old Preben, in the room close 
by, where his wife lies a corpse, tells about her in the time of her youth, 
and of their young love, so that he grows young and happy over it, just so 
the composer Hartmann's old father sat and talked when his dear wife lay 
with closed eyes ; all these memories are recalled in it. The story itself, br 
the way, was first printed in German, in the " Bavarian Almanac," to which 
[ had been invited to give a sketch. " Jack the Dullard " is a Danish pop-- 
alar story, told afresh : it stands pretty much alone among the later st'>- 
ries, which were nearly all invented by me. " Good for nothing " has its 
only origin in a few words which I heard my mother say when I was a 
child. One day when I had seen a boy hurrying down to the washing 
place at the Odense River where his mother stood out in the water arc* 
washed linen, I heard a widow noted for her frankness call out from a 
window and scold at the boy : " You going down again with brandy for 
your mother ! that's disgraceful I fy ! never let me see you become such a 



ADVERTISEMENT. Xlll 

perso.i as your mother ; she's good for nothing." I came home and told 
what I had heard. Tl ey all said, " Yes, the old washerwoman drinks. 
She's good for nothing ; " only my mother took her part. " Do not jud^'e 
her so hardly," said she ; " the poor thing toils and drudges, stands in the 
cold water, and gets no warm meal for several days : she must have some- 
thing to bear up with ; it is not indeed the best thing for her to take, bui 
the has nothing better ; she has gone through a great deal. She is hon- 
gst ; she takes good care of her little boy and keeps him looking neatly n 
My mother's gentle speech made a deep impression on n;e, since I as wdl 
as the others thought ill of the washerwoman. Many years after, whea 
another little incident led me to think how easily men often judge harshly, 
where gentleness can see quite another aspect to the case, this circum- 
stance came back to me, and my mother's words were fresh in my mind 
when I wrote the story, " Good for nothing." 

When the German edition was sold and a new one projected, there was 
collected the before mentioned stories from " In Sweden," and " A Poet's 
Bazaar " ; then there were added three from the " Danish People's Alma- 
nac/' _ The Thorn; Path of Honor," and the stones, " The Jewish Maid- 
en," in which is told again a Hungarian story, and "The Neck of a Bottle," 
all illustrated by Pedersen. The last story for which he made drawings 
was "The Stone of the Wise Men," with which we closed the collection, 
although this as well as " The Neck of a Bottle " belong to the later " New 
Stories and Tales " in eight parts. With this I close my reference to t\& 
edition illustrated by Lieutenant Pedersen. 

The year after there appeared no fewer than eight numbers of " Ne?? 
Stones and Tales " ; of these and of the scattered stories that appeared in 
journals and magazines, we will make a few notes. The first part, or, as 
it was called the first collection, came out at Christmas, 1857, and has al- 
ready passe t through four editions. The collection was inscribed to 
Madame Se-re, at Maxen, and contained " Soup made of a Sausage-stick," 
" The Neck of a Bottle," "The Old Bachelor's Nightcap," "Something/* 
"The Old Oak-tree's Last Dream." and "The Horn Pook." 

In our proverbs and phrases there sometimes lies the seed of quite a 
Btory. I once mentioned this, and gave as an illustration, " Soup made of a 
Sausage-stick." My friend, Councilor of State Thiele, said one day in jeat, 
"You ought to write us the story of a bottle, from its first origin till that 
moment when only half of it is in use as a bird's glass," and from that came 
'.he story, "The Neck of a Bottle." "The Old Bachelor's Nightcap' 
kas only two knitting points in it, the origin of the name " Febersvend," 
and the story about the holy Elizabeth. In the story " Something," there 
is introduced an incident that really occurred. On the west coast of Sweden 
t heard of an old woman, who burned her house to give warning to a 
r ember of people who were out on the ice, that the spring flood had come. 
M The Old Oak-tree's Last Dream," as well as " The Horn Book," wer 
a sudden suggestion. 

A second collection appeared in the spring of 1858, dedicated to Madame 
Laesso (borr. Abrahamson), and contained "The Marsh-king's Daughter," 



10 V AD VER TISEMENT. 

<*The Switest Runners," and "The Bell's Hollow." The first of thew 
belongs to those stories on which I have expended most time and labor ; 
and pernaps some people here and there may be interested to observe as 
through a microscope how it has grown and takes its form. The substance 
of it came suddenly like all my Wonder Stories, just as a well-known mel- 
ody or snatch of music may come to one. I told at once the entire story 
to one of ray friends, then it was written down, afterward written over again; 
but even when for the third time it stood upon paper I would see that en- 
tire parts still did not stand forth as clearly and distinctly as they could 
and must. I studied some of the stories of our island, and by these waa 
carried back in time, and with this beginning the truth was more nearly 
readied. I read a. few of the current sketches of travel from Africa ; the 
tropical profusion and the peculiar novelty took possession of me ; I 
aw the country and could talk about it with more authority. A few 
writings on the flight of birds were also of value ; they suggested new 
ideas, and gave characteristic expression of the life of birds, such as moves 
in this wonder story, so that it was in a short time written over five or 
ix times till I was quite certain that I could now do no better with it. 

"The Bell's Hollow" sprang from a popular belief about a merman in 
Odense River, and the story of a church-bell which swung itself out from 
Albain church tower. The third collection came out in the spring of 1859, 
dedicated to the composer Professor J. P. C. Hartmann, and contained 
"The Wind's Tale concerning Waldemar Daae and his Daughters," "The 
Girl who trod upon Bread," " Ole the Watchman,' 1 " Anne Lisbeth," Chil- 
dren's Prattle," and " A String of Pearls." In Danish popular stories, as 
well as in historic records about the old manor of Borreby near Skjelskjor, 
one finds the account of Waldemar Daae and his daughters. It was one of 
the stories I worked over the most, with respect to style, in order to give 
the language something of the effect of the whirring, soughing wind, which 
1 made tell the story. 

I had early heard the story of the girl who trod upon bread, which 
jecame stone and with her disappeaied in the marsh. I set myself the 
problem to raise her psychologically into expiation and salvation ; the 
story grew out of that. In "Anne Lisbeth " I have wished to show that 
all good aspirations lie in the hearts of men, and must, even if in a round- 
about way, develop themselves ; here it is the love of a mother which gives 
life and strength in the midst of fear and trembling. " A String of Peai Is n 
^ives a time of change which I myself have lived through. In my child- 
hood it was not unusual for a journey, in smooth sailing, from Odense to 
Copenhagen to take a time of about five days, now it needs only about a* 
many hours. 

The fourth collection came out at Christmas, 1859, and contained " Pea 
*nd Inkstand," ' The Child in the Grave," " The Farm-yard Cock and the 
Weathercock," " Charming/' and " A Story from the Sand Hills." Ever? 
one who has heard Ernst or Leonard will in the story of the " Pen aiid 
Inkstand " recall the wonderful violin playing. " The Child in the Giave," 
like the " Story of a Mother," has, more than any of my storie* given n 



ADVERTISEMENT XV 

pleasure, wh'.le many an afflicted mother has found trust and strength 
thiough them. In the story " Charming," all the absurdly naive and com- 
monplace talk of the widow is pretty nearly taken from nature. "A Story 
from the Sand Hills" was written after a visit to Skagen and the west coxsi 
of Jutland. I found here a nature and a popular life which could rest as 
a foundation for the thoughts which I wished to incorporate in writing,- 
thoughts which had long possessed me and had come into existence through 
a conversation with Oehlenschlager. His words had made a deep Impres- 
sion on my young mind ; I thought only of the words, and did not clearly 
understand then as now how truly they had sprung forth. 

Who of us does not know the feeling in which one often gives expression 
to z. doubt, when one does not at bottom doubt but only wishes to hear 
from another his own belief confidently expressed Perhaps this was the 
case here, or it may have been more to prove the firmness of my faith. 
We talked of eternity, and Oehlenschlager threw out the words, " Are you 
so very sure that there is a life alter this ? " I held fast by the assurance, 
grounded on God's righteousness, but broke forth in my speech into the 
not over wise words, " Man can ask for it." He persisted : " Is it not again 
A great piece of vanity in you to dare to ask for everlasting life 5 Has no- 
God given you infinitely much in this world ? I know," he continued. 
" what wonderful fullness of the Godhead He has granted me : when I in 
death close my eyes, I will thankfully pray and bless Him ; should He grani 
me still an everlasting life, then would I receive it as a new and infinite 
grace." 

" You can talk so," said I, " God gave you so very much on the earth, 
and I too dare say that ; but how many are there not who are placed quit* 
otherwise in the world, cast into it with a sick body, a diseased mind 
borne long the bitterest way to sorrow and want, why should they so suffer 
why is there so unequal an allotment ? that were a wrong, and that God can 
not do. He will give compensation, lift and loosen what we could not. 1 
What I said became the material for the little narrative, " A Story from th< 
Sand Hills." When it came out, a critic said that the word of doubt tha< 
lay at its bottom I had never heard spoken or had given voice to myself , 
that thus there was something like falsehood in the story. If I remembei 
rightly, it was the same or another equally knowing who gave it as his opin- 
'on that one certainly would feel himself deceived, if, after he had read 
he sketches of nature in my narrative, or the account of Skagen which 1 
sad contributed to the "Danish People's Almanac," he should now travel 
leie and expect to rind such a poetic country as that given by me. I had, 
however, the pleasure of receiving a visit from Conference Councilor 
Princk Scideln, the man who could best judge about the truth of it, arH 
who himself had given an excellent sketch of Skagen in his account of 
Hjerring County, and he expressed his thanks in the warmest manner for 
the faithfulness and truth with which I had painted all that country. From 
th; priest of Skagen I received a letter, in which he also spoke of his pleas- 
ure at the sketches of nature, and especially because they were so true. 
Hft added, " We shall now also believe, and tell when strangers come t 
ttxe ncound where the church lies buried in the sand, ' Jorgen lies therein.' ' 



4DVGR TIS&M&MT 

A young irtoaDitant there snowed me mucn Kindness, carried me roussd 
with him, <>w - the Green, and to Old Skagen. On the way we went 
by the churcfi- vrif.re the tower omy still rose above and served aa a 
landmark t<- :ise IT sea He "vouJd not go over the difficult pa;h ; I 
stepped out ot the wagon, went alone, and have in my narrative given 
the impression >** what I saw there. I heard that my otherwise excellent 
guide, after he nad read " A Story from the Sand Hills," said that 1 nevcj 
had been close up to the church ; he knew it, for he had driven me hiri- 
=5elf. It seemed to amuse people that I should write about what I hid 
not seen, but it did not amuse me. One day in Copenhagen I met the 
snan and asked him at once if he remembered our journey, and he replied, 

We drove below the church out to Old Skagen." 

' Ves, v<n* drove," I answered ; " but you must remember that I got out 
3f the carriage and went up to it ; " and then I told him how strangely I 
had been remarked upon for it. 

* Quite right said he, " you must have been there, but I had forgot- 
cen it.' I reminded him of the sand ridge where I again overtook him 
and drove further. 

L recoil er: that I was not up by the tower," said the man, " and so 
believed tha. - /ou had not been either." 

I mention this little incident for the sake of the truth. Perhaps at some 
other time after I am dead, one or another who heard this from my guide's 
own mouth may repeat that I had not been there and seen it with my own 
eyes. Among the peasants and fishermen thereabout I noticed many char- 
acteristic traits, and received many good explanations, which I put into new 
shape afterward ; but with regard to such matters given me by those who 
knew about them, I got the friendly counsel from a reviewer, that one who 
makes sketches should get his facts from the people where they live, and 
this is just what I did. 

" A Story from the Sand Hills " got for me the hearty thanks of the poet 
Palcdan-Muller, which I set such store by that I mention it here. 

In the spring of 1861 there was published "New Wonder Stories ani 
Talcs," second part, containing: "Twelve by the Mail," "The Beetle," 
* What the Good-man does is sure to be Right," " The Stone o the 
"VV ise Men," " The Snow Man," " In the Duck-yard/' and " The Muse ui 
the Coming Age." 

In a number of " Household Words," Charles Dickens has collected a 
number of Arabian proverbs and sayings ; among them was this : " Wherj 
the Emperor's horse got his golden shoes, the beetle also stretched his leg 
otit" " We recommend," says Dickens in a note, " Hans Christian Aiv 
dersei to write a story about this." I had quite a desire to do so, but uo 
story ume. Not until nine years after, during a visit at the hospitable 
manor of Basnos, where I accidentally read Dickens's words again, did 
the story of " The Beetle " suddenly spring forth. " What the Good-man 
does is sure to be Right " is one of those Danish popular stories which I 
bad heard as a child and told no\ after my own fashion. 

In the course of the year I had been out, so to r>peak, on almost all 'Jie radtf 



AD VER TISEMENT. XV 11 

f the wonder-story circle, and when therefore not seldom an idea or a send 
luent presented itself and carried me back to what I had already given, I lei 
the idea go or else sought to bring it out under a new shape ; so the piece ; 
" The Stone of the Wise Men" got something of an oriental form and a 
strong stamp of the allegory. I have been blamed because my later storiet 
have a philosophic force, lying outside my province, and this i6 especially 
applied to this piece, and to the fanciful one in the same part, called " The 
Muse of the Coming Age." Still this is sprung from the soil of the wonder 
Btory. It has been said and writer, that this part was the weakest of any 
I had offered, and yet there are to be found in it two of my best told 
stories : " What the Good-man does is sure to be Right," and " The Snow 
Man." This last was written at Christmas, during a visit to charming 
Basnb's, and has been preferred to many of my stories on several occa- 
sions, aud very often has received great praise under the excellent recita- 
tions jf the royal actor Manzius. 

Of late it has been said by one and another that it is decidedly the first 
of my stories which have the most significance, and that my later ones 
give place to these. This is really only accidental, but it can be explained. 
People, who in youth read my first stories are grown old and have lost the 
freshness of soul with which they then read and enjoyed my writings 
Perhaps also one and another have found that the stories have received 
such a wide circulation and praise in the world as to give the author great 
pleasure while yet alive, and when now the oldest stories are put to the test, 
again they are left in peace and the later ones are taken up and criticised. 
People often throw out words without accounting for them as to which 
stories and tales belong to the newer and which to the older ones. Several 
times I have heard it said : " Yes, I hold by those of your stories which 
are the oldest ; " and when I asked " Which are these ? " I very often get 
the answer, " The Butterfly," "It is quite True," "The Snow Man," and 
just these belong to the newer ones, some to those just before the latest 

If this last part was one of the weaker sort, which I do not now believe, 
then certainly was that part one of the best which followed just after Christ- 
mas, 1861, and contained "The Ice Maiden," " The Butterfly," " Psyche," 
and " The Snail and the Rose-tree." It was dedicated with a few lines to 
<ke poetic writer Bjomstjerne Bjornson. 

" The Ice Maiden " was written in Switzerland after I had several times 
visited that land, and now on a journey home from Italy stopped there for 
a longer visit. The whole passage about the eagle's nest was an account 
of what really took place, as narrated to me by the Bavarian popular poet 
Koppei. " The Butterfly " was likewise composed in Switzerland, or. z. walk 
from Montreux to Chillon. " Psyche " was written a few months earlier, 
when I was still in Rome. An incident cf ray first stay there in 1833-34 
came into my mind and gave the first suggestion. A young nun was to be 
buiied, they dug her grave and found in it a splendid statue of Bacchus 
" The Snail and the Rose-tree " belongs to the maturer Wonder Stories. 

Since this collection came out there has followed a heavy, bitter year, 
year of war ; Denmark lost Sleswick and Als, who could think of any 
Mxing else ? It was more than a year and a day before I wrote any story 



j * 



XV111 AD VER TISEMEN1. 

and only at Christmas, 1865, did there come out anotber part, which was 
dedicated to the ballet writer, August Bournonville, and contained " The 
Will-o'-the-wisp is in the Town, says the Moor-woman," "The Windmill," 
"The Silver Shilling," "The Bishop of Borglum and his Kindred," "In 
the Nursery," " Gold Treasure," and " The Storm moves the Sis*-boards." 
The story about the will-o'-the-wisp sprang out of the mood I was in dur 
big the year of the war, it is a leaf from the Wonder Story of rime. 
There stands on the way between Soro and Holsteinbcrg a windmill, which 
I often passed, and which always seemed to desire a place in a vondftf 
story. It got it at last. 

" The Silver Shilling " was written in Leghorn. I came by steamer 
from Civita Vecchia ; on board I changed a scudo in order to have some 
small change, and there was given me a bad two-franc piece. Nobody 
would take it, I was vexed at being cheated, but soon there came an idea 
for a wonder story, and so I have my money back again. " The Bishop 
of Borglum and his Kindred " was written after a visit at Borglum mon- 
astery. This well-known historic story from a rude dark age, still called 
by many a beautiful period and one it was worth while to live in, is placed 
in comparison with our really bright and happier time. " Gold Treasure " 
was written at Frijsenborg. The woody solitude, the blooming rlower- 
garden, the pleasant rooms of the castle wove themselves in my memory 
into a writing which blossomed forth like a flower in those happy days. 
"The Storm moves the Sign-boards" was, like "The Bird of Popular 
Song," written in Copenhagen, about Christmas-time. The entire sketch 
of the corporation festivities is a recollection from my childhood at Odense. 
The last part of " New Wonder Stories and Tales " appeared at Christ- 
mas, 1866, dedicated to the painter Carl Bloch, and contains : " Kept close 
is not forgotten," "The Porter's Son," "Flitting Day," "The Summer- 
g wk," " Aunty," and " The Toad." In " Kept close is not forgotten " three 
pi tuies are given. The first has its motif horn Thieie's popular stories. 
Th e story is there told of a lady who was fastened by robbers to a dog ken- 
nel in the garden ; how she got free I have told. The second picture belongs 
at home in our time. The incident occurred at Holsteinborg. The third 
picture, with the poor, weeping girl, belongs als. to the present. I heard 
from the girl's own mouth what is here written down. " The Porter's Son " 
has several points from real life. " Aunty " I knew in several persons who 
ro\\ lie in their graves. " The Summer-gowk " was written on demand ; 
Hay friend, State Councilor Drewsen, who holds most fervently to Danish 
memories and the Danish tongue, was lamenting one day the frequency with 
which good old names got changed. In the paper a gardener advertised 
'' winter-gowk," which we in our younger years always and more intelligi 
<S3y called " summer-gowk," because it mocks us in summer. He bade 
me write a story and use the old name in it, and so I wrote " The Summer 
gowk." " The Toad " was composed during my visit at Setubal in the 
summer of 1866. From one of the deep wells there, where the water ij 
drawn up in crocks that are placed on a great revolving wheel, and then 
by means of conduits is carried ou'. over the gardens, I saw one day a 
great ugly toad come out. When I ~ame to examine him moie closely, 1 



AD VER TISEMENT XIX 

remarked tis wise eyes, and soon I had a whole story which afterward 
was written out in Denmark, and furnished with Danish nature and home 
scenes, "The Old Church Bell " was written by request to accompany a 
picture in Schiller's album. I wished to introduce a Danish element, and 
one may, by reading this story, see how I have solved my proble.n. " The 
Tea-pot " was written at Toledo. " The Two Brothers " is a little fanciful 
vignette of the Brothers Orsted's life. " The Wicked Prince " is \n old 
story, and belongs to the earliest of my stories. The first lime it waa 
printed in Siesby's "The Salon," and has since been introduced into the 
German, and English editions of my stories. I will therefore not omit it 
here. "The Greenies," as well as " Peiter, Peter, and Peer" were writ- 
ten, at Rolighed by the lime-kilns, and arose from that contentment and 
pleasant humor which a happy home can give. " The Nis and the Dame " 
has its root in a popular story about a Nis that worried a dog chained up 

The earlier written Stories and Tales, to the number of sixty-nine, are 
published in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth volumes of my col- 
lected writings ; the newer sixty-two Wonder Stories and Tales occupying 
about the same number of sheets, are given here in the twenty-fifth, twenty- 
Bixth, and twenty-seventh volumes, so that the collected writings " now 
have in their completeness the one hundred and thirty-one Wonder Stories 
and Tales which I have written. 

ROLIGHED, August, 1868. 

It only needs to be added to this summary of the author 
that the stories since written have, with one or two trifling 
exceptions, been sent by Mr. Andersen to the " Riverside 
Magazine for Young People," to be published there a little in 
advance of their appearance in Denmark and England. These 
later stories have been preserved part in this, and part in the 
companion volume, " Wonder Stories told for Children." To 
enumerate them with the dates of their appearance in Amer- 
ica, they are, "The Court Cards'' (January, 1869), "The 
Dryad" (February), "Which was the Happiest?" (March), 
" Luck may lie in a Pin " (April), " Sunshine Stories " (May) 3 
"The Comet" (June), "What one *m invent" (July), What 
happened to the Thistle " (October), " Chicken Grethe's Fam- 
ily ' (November and December), " The Candles ' (Jul?^ 
1870), "Great Grandfather" (August), "The Most Extraor- 
c?'nary Thing " (September), " Danish Popular Stories " (Oc- 
tober). 

The. ^lustrations m the two volumes are from those con- 
tributed by Lieutenant Pedersen, as mentioned by Andersen, 
and from o-signs by M L. Stone, of New York. 



PROPERTY OF THE 
CITY OF NEW YORK 

STORIES AND TALES. 



A PICTURE BOOK WITHOUT PICTURES. 

INTRODUCTION. 

IT is wonderful ! at those very times when I am conscious 
of the warmest and best feelings, my hand and tongue 
seem, as it were, tied, so that I can express nothing, nor give 
utterance to any of the thoughts that fill my breast. And 
yet I am a painter : my eye tells me this, and every one has 
acknowledged it who has seen my sketches and my pictures. 

I am a poor fellow, living in one of the narrowest of streets ; 
yet there is no want of light, for I live high up, and have a 
view over all the roofs. For some days after I first came to 
town, the whole scene around appeared to me crowded and 
yet lonely. In place of the groves and green hills, I saw noth- 
ing but dark gray chimneys, as far as my eye could reach. I 
met with no one whom I knew ; no familiar face greeted me. 

One evening I was standing, with a heavy heart, at the case- 
ment. I opened it and looked out. Imagine my delig'nu, 
when I beheld the face of an old friend a round, kind face, 
looking down on me my best friend in my little garret. It 
Wiis the Moon, the dear old Moon, with the same unaltered 
gleam, just as she appeared when, through the branches of the 
willows, she used to shine upon me as I sat on the mossy 
bank beside the river. I kissed my hand to her, and she 
beamed full into my chamber, and promised to look in upon 
me whenever she went out ; and this she has faithfully done. 
At ever}' visit she tells me of one thing or another that sM 
has seen during the past night, in her silent passage across 
he sky. " Sketch what I relate to you," said the Moon at 
her first visit, " and you will have a pretty picture book." 1 



2 STCR7ES AND TALE\. 

acted upon the hint: in my own fashion I could give a new 
"Thousand and One Nights" in pictures ; but this would b 
too tedious. The sketches I present are not selected, but 
given as I received them : a painter, poet, or musician rrjght 
make something of them. What I offer are merely slight 
sketches upon paper, tht, framework of my thought. Tfoi 
Moon came not every evening a cloud often intervened. 

FIRST EVENING. 

Last night these are the Moon's own words I sailed 
through the clear air of India. I mirrored myself in tb 
Ganges. My beams struggled to force a way through the 
thick roof of th. old plane-trees, close and compact like the 
shell upon the tortoise. From out the thicket stepped a Hin- 
doo maiden, slender as a gazelle, beautiful as Eve. There 
was something truly ethereal, yet at the same time of corporeal 
beauty, about the Indian girl. I could discern her thoughts 
beneath her delicate skin. The thorny tendrils of the Liana 
tore her sandals ; but she stepped swiftly through them. The 
wild beasts, that came up from the river, whither they had 
been to quench their thirst, fled affrightedly away, for the 
maiden held a burning lamp in her hand. I could see the 
fresh blood in those delicate fingers, which were arched into a 
screen over the flame of the lamp. She drew nigh to the 
river, placed the lamp upon the waters, and the lamp sailed 
away with the stream. The air was agitated, and it seemed 
that it must put out the light ; but still the flame burned on, 
and the maiden's dark and sparkling eyes followed it, with a 
soul-speaking glance from beneath the long silken lashes of 
her eyelids. Well she knew that if the 'amp burned so long 
as she could follow it with her eye, her *over would be alive \ 
but if it went out, then he would be dead. And the laup 
burned and flickered, and the maiden's neart burned and 
quivered. She knelt down and said a prayer. Beside her lay 
a deadly serpent in the grass ; but she thought only of Brahma, 
and of her beloved. " He lives ! '" she cried exultingly ; and 
echo resounded from the hills, " He lives ! " 



4 PICTURE ROOK WITHOUT PICTURES* 3 

SECOND EVENING. 

It was but yesternight (said the Moon) that I peeped into a 
small court-yard, inclosed by houses : there was a hr ; n, with 
eleven chickens. A pretty little girl was skipping about, 
The hen clucked, and affrighted spread out her wings over 
her little ones. Then came the maiden's father, and chid the 
child ; and I passed on, without thinking more of it at the 
moment. 

This evening but a few minutes ago I again peeped 
into the same yard. All was silent ; but soon the little maiden 
came. She crept cautiously to the hen-house, lifted the latch, 
and stole gently up to the hen and the chickens. The hen 
clucked aloud, and they all ran fluttering about : the Tittle girl 
an after them. I saw it plainly, for I peeped in through a 
chink in the wall. I was vexed with the naughty child, and 
was glad that the father came and scolded her still more than 
yesterday, and seized her by the arm. She bent her head 
back ; big tears stood in her blue eyes. " What are you doing 
here? '* he iske^ ^he wept. " I wanted to go in and kiss the 
hen, and beg her to I'orgive me for yesterday. But I could not 
tell it you." And the father kissed the brow of the innocent 
child ; but I kissed her eyes and lips. 

THIRD EVENING. 

In the narrow lane hard by so narrow that my beams can 
only glide down the walls of the houses for a minute, and yet 
in that minute I see enough to comprehend the little world 
that stirs below I saw a woman. Sixteen years ago she was 
a child. Abroad, in the country, she used to play in the gar- 
den of the old parsonage. The hedge-rows of roses were 
already old, and had shed their blossoms. They had run wild, 
and grew rankly in the walks and alleys, and wreatlsed their 
long shoots up the stems of the apple-trees : here and there a 
rose still sat upon her stem, not indeed so lovely as the queen 
of the flowers oft appears, but still there was color, and a per 
fume too. The Vicar's little daughter appeared to me a far 
r airer rose, as she sat upon her little bench under the tangled 
hedge, and kissed the squeezed-in pasteboard cheeks of hey 
doL. 



4. STORIES AND TALES, 

Ten years later I saw her again. I saw her in a splend : 
ball-room : she was the lovely bride of a rich merchant. I 
ejoiced in her good fortune : I sought her again in s...ent 
evenings, ah, no one heeded my clear eye, my constant 
glance ! My rose too grew up in untrained wildness, like the 
roses in the garden of the parsonage. Life in the every-day 
world has likewise its tragedy. This evening I witnessed a 
closing act. 

In the narrow lane, she lay upon her bed, ill unto death \ 
and the wicked landlord, rude and cold-hearted, now hei 
only hold left, tore the curtains open. " Up, up ! " he cried \ 
;< your cheeks are enough to frighten one. Deck yourself out 1 
Get money, or I'll turn you into the street. Quick ! up with 
you ! quick ! " 

" The hand of death is upon me," she replied. u O spare 
me, let me rest!' 1 And he dragged her up, painted her 
cheeks, stuck roses in her hair, set her at the window, with a 
lighted candle beside her, and left the house. My eye was 
riveted upon her. She sat motionless : her hands only sank 
down into her lap. The wind blew against the window, and a 
pane was broken. But she sat still and silent. The window 
curtain fluttered, like a flame, about her she was dead. 
From the open window the dead one still preached a moral , 
my Rose from the garden of the parsonage ! 

FOURTH EVENING. 

This evening I was at a German play, said the Moon. It 
was in a small town, and a stable had been turned into a 
theatre : the stalls remained, and were fitted up and decorated 
as boxes, and all the wood- work was covered with colored 
paper. Under the low roof hung a small chandelier, formed 
of a hoop with candles stuck in it ; and over this was fastened 
an inverted tub, in order that, as on the stage of a large 
theatre, the lights might be drawn up when the prompter's 
bell begins to tinkle. 

" Tinkle, tinkle, tinkle ! " and the little chandelier made a 
skip of half a yard. By this the folks knew that the play wai 
going to begin. 

A young nobleman with his lady, passing through the tow a 



A PICTURE BOOK WITHOUT PICTURES. 

were present at the play, and the house was in consequence 
crowded to excess. But the clear space under the chandelier 
looked like a small crater : not a soul sat in this spot, for the 
candles of the chandelier dripped down drop ! drop ! 

I could easily see all that passed, for it was so hot that the 
wickets had to be opened ; and at every wicket the heads 
of servant-girls and lads outside were now seen peeping in, 
notwithstanding that the constables were posted inside th 
door, who threatened the intruders with their staves. Close 
to the orchestra was seen the youthful and noble pa : r, 
seated in two old arm-chairs, which at other times the burgo- 
master and his lady were wont to fill. To-night, however, 
those worthies had to sit for once upon the wooden benches, 
like the rest of the towns-folk. " Aye, look ye there now, 
one sparrow-hawk in turn outflies another ! ' whispered the 
women to one another ; and everything took a more stately 
aspect on this memorable occasion. The chandelier danced, 
the mob pressed forward, and got a rap on the knuckle for 
their pains, and I aye, indeed, the Moon was also present 
with the rest during the whole of the play. 

FIFTH EVENING. 

Yesterday, said the Moon, I looked down upon Paris 
busy, restless Paris : my glance penetrated into the apartments 
of the Louvre. An aged grandmother, poorly clad --she be- 
longed to the class of alms-folk followed an attendant imo 
the large, empty throne-room. She wanted to see it, sne 
must see it ; many a franc-piece and many a civil word it had 
doubtless cost her, before she succeeded in making her wa/ 
so far into the palace. 

The poor woman clasped her emaciated hands, and lookeJ 
solemnly around, as if she were standing in a church, "it 
was here!" she said; "here!' And she approached the 
throne, from which hung down the rich gold-edged velvet 
covering. " There ! " said she ; " there ! " and she bent her 
kuee, and kissed the purple hangings. I wept, she wept. 

"'Twas not this velvet," said the attendant, and a smila 
H/iayed on his !Ips. 

1 And yet it was here j " said the old woman ; " and it bad 
Ih ; same look then." 



6 STORIES AND TALES. 

"The same, and yet not the same," replied the man. "O* 
that day the windows ^vere smashed in, the doors burst open, 
and the floor ran with blood ; and yet you may with truth say, 
your giandson died upon :he throne." 

" Died," repeated the old woman. No more words passed, 
I believe. 

They soon left the apartment: the evening twilight faded 
away, and my light streamed with increased brightness upon 
the rich velvet hangings of the throne of France. Who, 
thinkest thou, was the old woman ? I will relate a story to 
you. 

It was in the Revolution of July, toward the close of the 
evening that preceded the most brilliant day of victory, wh?n 
every house was a fortress, every window a barricade. The 
people stormed the Tuileries ; women and children even 
fighting amongst the combatants : the crowd forced their way 
through the apartments and saloons of the palace. A poor, 
half-grown lad, in rags, fought bravely in the ranks with his 
older comrades ; until at length he sank upon the floor, 
pierced with death-wounds from half a dozen bayonets. This 
passed in the throne-room, and the bleeding body was laid 
upon the throne of France : his wounds were partly covered 
with the velvet hangings, and his blood streamed over the 
royal purple. What a picture ! the magnificent saloon the 
groups of combatants ! A broken standard lay upon the 
ground, the tricolored flag waved over the bayonets ; and upon 
the throne lay the poor lad, his pallid features marked with 
the transfigurement of death : the eyes turned heavenward, 
whilst the limbs were already stiffened in the cramps of death : 
over his naked breast, over his tattered dress, was thrown the 
rich velvet drapery, with its silver lilies. It had been foretold 
to the lad that he should die upon the throne of France. His 
mother, in her love, had dreamt of a second Napoleon. My 
beam has kissed the wreath of flowers upon his grave, my 
beam has in the past night kissed the brow of the aged grand- 
mother, when she saw in a dream the picture which thou 
tnayst here design the poor and ragged boy upon the throne 
if France. 



A PICTURE BOOK WITHOUT PICTURE. 



SIXTH EVENING. 

I have been at Upsala, said the Moon. I looked down 
upon the broad plains, flagged with short turf, and upon tha 
desolate fields: I mirrored myself in the river Fyris, whilst 
the steamboat frightened away the fishes into their sedgy re- 
treats. The clouds chased one another beneath me, and cast 
their long shadows upon the graves of Odin, Thor, and Freya, 
as the hills there are called. Names may be seen cut in the 
thin turf upon the heights ; for there is here no building-stone 
whereon the traveller could grave a mark, no wall of rock 
whereon to trace his name. The visitor therefore here cuts 
the turf, and the naked earth is covered with a net-work of 
letters and names along the range of hills, an immortality 
which the next growth of turf effaces. 

There stood a man upon the hill-top, a poet. He 
emptied a mead-horn, ornamented with a broad silver ring, 
and whispered a name, which he charged the breezes not to 
betray ; but I heard the name, for I knew it. An earl's coro- 
net sparkled above it, and therefore he named it not aloud. 
I smiled. And does not a poet's crown sparkle above his? 
Eleonora d'Este's nobility is one with Tasso's name. I, too, 
know where blooms the rose of beauty. 

So spake the Moon ; and then a cloud passed before her 
face. O that clouds might never intervene between the poet 
and the rose ! 

SEVENTH EVENING. 

Along the sea- shore stretches a grove of oaks and beeches, 
fresh and fragrant, which a hundred nightingales visit with 
every return of spring. The road lies between this grove and 
the ocean. Carriages roll past, one after another, but I follow 
them not : my glance rests upon one spot a soldier's grave. 
The blackberry and the sloe spring up between the stonee. 
Here lives the poetry of nature : how thinkest thou man reads 
it? Listen, and I will tell you what I heard last evening and 
m the past night. 

First came two wealthy country-folks jogging along in their 
Chaise " Splendid trees those ! " said one ; " every tree 



8 STORIES AND TALES. 

would yield at least ten cart-loads of fire-wood : we slall 

a hard winter. Last year, you remember, we got fourteen 

dollars a load." So saying, they passed on. 

"What a dreadful road ! " said another man, driving past in 
his carriage. " This all comes from the cursed trees," an- 
swered his companion: "the only inlet for the air is from the 
sea," They drove on. 

The diligence now came up: all the passengers were fast 
asleep, just in the most lovely part of the journey. The driver 
blew his horn ; but he only thought to himself, " Very well 
blown what a capital echo there is just here! but what do 
those sleepy folks inside care for it ? " And the diligence 
disappeared. 

Then came two young lads, galloping along on horseback, 
with all the fire and spirit of youth. They, too, looked with a 
smile upon the moss-green hills and the dark thicket. " I 
should like well enough to be walking here with pretty Chris- 
tina, the miller's daughter," said one ; and off they rode. 

The flowers perfumed the air ; every breath of wind was 
still ; the ocean seemed, as it were, a part of the heaven, 
which overspanned the deep valley. A coach rolled past, in 
which were six persons. Four were asleep ; the fifth was 
deep in thought, reflecting how his new summer coat would 
become him ; the sixth popped his head out of the window, 
and turning to the coachman, asked whether there was any- 
thing remarkable in the heap of stones by the roadside. 
" Why, no," said the driver ; " 'tis nothing but a heap of 
stones ; but the trees yonder they are indeed worth looking 
at." " Tell me about them." " Aye, aye, they are remark- 
able if you will," said the man ; " in the winter, when the 
saow is so deep that 'tis hard to keep to the right road, the 
trses are sign-posts to me, so that I am able to find my way, 
and avoid driving into the sea. What say you now aren't 
they remarkable ? " And so saying he drove on. 

Now came a painter. His eyes sparkled ; he spoke not a 
word, but only whistled to himself. The nightingales sang 
one louder and more sweetly than another. " Hold your 
ooise ! " he exclaimed hastily. He was remarking attentively 
fcll the colors and tints in the landscape. " Blue, purple, dark 



A PfCTUKE BOOK WITHOUT PICTURES. 9 

brown: what a glorious picture this would make!" His 
mind received it all, just as a mirror does a pictiue, and he 
whistled from time to time a march of Rossini's. 

The last who came was a poor maiden. She sat down to 
rest upon the soldier's grave, and laid her bundle or the 
ground. Her lovely, pallid face was inclined, as if listening, 
in the direction of the grove ; her eye sparkled, as she raised 
it again over the ocean heavenward. Her hands were clasped. 
She prayed repeating, I believe, the Lord's Prayer. She 
did not herself fully comprehend the feeling that pervaded her 
breast ; but well do I know, that year aftei year that moment 
will in memory invest the scene around her with more beauti- 
ful, yea, and with richer hues than :he precise colors in which 
the artist painted it. My beams followed her, until the morn- 
ing twilight kissed her brow. 

EIGHTH EVENING. 

Dark masses of clouds obscured the heaven : the Moon 
came not forth at all. I stood in double loneliness in my lit- 
tle chamber, and looked up into the region of air, from whence 
she should have appeared. 

My thoughts flew far, far around, up to the friend who is 
wont each evening to tell me such lovely stories, and to show 
me pictures. What scenes indeed has she not lived to see ! 
She floated over the waters of the Deluge, and smiled down 
upon the Ark, as she does now on me, and proclaimed the 
glad tidings of hope, that a new world should bloom again. 
When the people of Israel sat weeping beside the rivers of 
Babylon, she, too, looked in sorrow through the willows whereon 
they hung their harps. When Romeo climbed up the balcony, 
and the kiss of love rose from the earth like a cherub's 
thought, the Moon's shield stood half curtained behirxl the 
dark cypresses in the transparent expanse of air. She has 
seen the hero at St. Helena, when trom the lonely cliff he 
looked forth upon the ocean, and his breast swelled with 
mighty thoughts. Yea, indeed, what cannot the Moon relate/ 
The world's history is to her a book of adventures. To-night 
I see thee not, old friend, and for this once cannot note dow 
any picture in memorj of thy visit. 



IO STORIES AND TALES. 

And as I stood thus looking up dreamingly at the firma- 
ment, a stream of light came forth. It was a beam of tht 
Moon, but it soon vanished : black clouds glided over her 
face. And yet it had been a greeting, a kind evening greet- 
ing, sent me by the Moon. 

NINTH EVENING. 

The air was again clear, and the Moon was in her firsS 
quarter. A thought struck me for a sketch. Hear what the 
Moon related to me. 

I followed the polar bird and the whale to the eastern coast 
of Greenland. Naked rocks, covered with ice and clouds, 
compassed in a valley, where twining willows and bilberry 
plants were just in their richest blossom, and the fragrant 
Lychnis breathed forth its perfume. My light was feeble j 
niy keel was like the acanthus-leaf, torn from its stalk and 
driven about for weeks upon the water. The northern lights 
burned with a broad belt, from which shot forth streams of 
fire in whirling columns over the whole of heaven, playing in 
strange coruscations of red and green. 

The people who dwelt around had assembled for a dance, 
and merriment of various kinds ; but there was probably none 
in whose accustomed eye the splendor of the scene would 
excite wonder. " Let the souls of the dead play at ball with 
the head of the walrus ! " So thought they, in accordance 
with their popular belief: they had only mind and eye for the 
song and the dance. 

In the middle of the circle stood a Greenlander ; his fur 
cloak was thrown aside, and, beating on his hand-drum, he 
began a song about the seal, to which all present responded 
?ith an "Eia, Eia!' hopping round and round in a circle, 
dressed in their white fur coats. The scene was like a dance of 
bears : eyes and heads moved in the strangest manner. Now 
began the judgment and sentence: those who had come in 
enmity stepped forward, and the injured person recited, with 
a bold +one of ridicule, the faults of his antagonist, and all 
accompanied by the dance and the drum. The accused an- 
swered with equal skill, whilst all the people laughed, and 
meanwh'le pronounced the se ntence. 



A PICTURE BOOK WITHOUT PICTURES \\ 

A sound reverberated among the rocks like a peal of thun- 
der ; the ice-fields above had split into pieces, and the huge 
precipitated masses descended in showers of dust. It ivaa 
indeed a beautiful summer night in Greenland. 

A hundred yards off, beneath an open tent of kins, lay a 
sick man. Life still stirred in his warm blood, and yet die he 
must , for he believed it, and all around believed it too. His 
tfe was already sewing the skin covering tight around his 
'imbs, that she might not afterward have to touch the dead 
body : and she asked him, " Wilt thou be buried high up upon 
the rocks, in the firm bed of snow ? I will deck the spot with 
thy kajab and with thy arrows, and the Angekobb shall dance 
over it. Or wilt thou rather be sunk deep into the sea? " 

"Into the sea!" replied the sick man; and his head in- 
clined faintly, and a sad smile was on his cheek. 

" Aye, it is a mild summer tent," said his wife ; " the seals 
sport about there, the walrus sleeps at your feet, and the 
chase is safe and pleasant." 

But the children with lamentings tore away the stretched 
skin from the entrance, that the dying man might be borne 
out to the sea, to the swelling ocean, which in his life had 
given him food, and was now to yield him repose in death.. 
The floating ice-fields form his tombstone, as they pass hither 
and thither by day and by night. Seals slumber upon the ice- 
blocks : the storm bird drifts aloft over the spot. 

TENTH EVENING. 

I knew an old maid, said the Moon. Winter after winter 
she wore a yellow satin cloak trimmed with fur, which might 
oe said never to grow old, for it was her only fashion. Every 
summer she wore the same straw hat, and, as I fancy, the 
same grayish blue gown. She only stirred from home to visit 
an old friend, who dwelt nearly opposite ; but during the last 
few years even these visits ceased her friend was dead. In 
her solitude the old lady used to trip about before the window, 
at which all summer long stood a row of pretty flowers ; and 
in winter a fine crop of mustard and cress flourished upon tha 
crown of a beaver hat. 

During the last month she sat no longer at the window ; 



12 STORIES AND TALES. 

nevertheless I knew that she was still living, for I had not yet 
seen her set out on the great journey which had been so 
frequent a subject of talk between the old lady and her friend. 
*' Yes," she would say, " I shall one day, when I die, make a 
longer journey than I ever did in my life-time. Six miles 
hence is the family vault, where they will carry me, that I may 
sleep with the rest of my family." 

Last night a hearse stopped before the house, and a ccrHfl 
was carried out. Then I knew that she had died. They put 
straw and matting around the coffin, and drove off. So slep^ 
now the quiet old maid, who in the last few years of her life 
had never quitted the house. And the hearse rolled quickly 
out of the town, as if going on a journey of pleasure. From 
time to time the driver looked timidly round : I fancy he was 
in some dread of seeing her seated behind him on the coffin, 
in the yellow satin cloak. And all the while he lashed his 
horses recklessly, yet holding in the reins as tightly as he 
could, until the bits were covered with foam. The horses 
were young and spirited : a hare darted across the road, and 
they became unmanageable and ran away. The quiet old 
maid, who from year's end to year's end had only moved 
about with a slow and noiseless step, in the circular course o f 
habit, was now, a lifeless corpse, driven and hurried along the 
high-road over stick and stone. The coffin, with its covering 
of straw, was tossed up into the air, and fell upon the road ; 
whilst horses, hearse, and driver dashed wildly off. 

A lark rose singing from the field, warbled its morning 
hymn over the coffin, and then alighted upon it, pecking at 
the straw matting with its beak : but the chrysalis had already 
burst its prison, and the spirit was freed from its confinement. 
The lark rose exultingly again, and I veiled my face behltd 
the reddening clouds of morning. 

ELEVENTH EVENING. 

I will :ive vou a sketch of Pompeii, said the Moon. I was 

o * 

outside the city, in the Street of Tombs, as it is called, where 
the beautiful monuments are standing ; where, exulting in 
their mirth, and wreathing their brows with rcses, youths once 
danced with the fair sisters of Lais, The spot is now tba 
abode of death. 



A PICTURE BOOK WITHOUT PICTURES. \ 3 

German soldiers, in the pay of Naples, were on guard, play- 
ihg with cards and dice. A party of foreigners, from over tne 
mountains, walked into the city, attended by a guard. They 
bad come to view, in my full and clear light, the city arisen 
from the tomb. I showed them the track of the carriage- 
wheels, in the streets paved with flag-stones of lava. I showed 
them the names upon the doors, and the signs of the various 
crafts still hanging before the houses. In the narrow courts 
they saw the cistern decked with shells, in which the fountains 
had played. But the waters played no more, the song was no 
longer heard from the richly painted chambers, before the 
doors of which dogs of bronze kept watch. It was the Citj> 
of the Dead. Vesuvius alone still thundered forth his eternal 
hymn, each single strophe of which men call a new eruption. 
We went to the Temple of Venus, built of dazzling white mar- 
ble : the weeping-willow has sprung up between the columns. 
The air was transparently clear, and in the background stood 
Vesuvius, black as night, from which the flames arose straight 
as the stem of a pine-tree. The illumined cloud of smoke lay 
in the still calm of night, like the pine-tree's crown, but red 
as blood. 

A lady singer was one of the party a truly noble singer : 
I have witnessed the homage paid her in the first cities of 
Europe. They approached an amphitheatre, and sat down 
upon *he stone steps: a small open space was filled, as the 
whole Duilding was thousands of years ago. There was still 
the stage, as in past times, with its bricked side-walls, and the 
two arches in the background, through which the same scenery 
vas now visible as in former ages, Nature herself displaying 
O our view the hills between Sorrento and Amalfi. 

The lady, in sport, descended to the stage and sang. 7 he 
recoil jctions of the spot inspired her. It put me in mind of 
the free Arab steed, when he snorts, and his mane stands 
erect, and he dashes off in his wild course. Here was the 
same ease and confidence. And sounds arose all around, as 
they did so many ages ago upon this self-same spot, shouts of 
applause and the clapping of hands. 

Three minutes later, and the scene was deserted : all were 
not a sound was longer heard. But the ruin stood. 



14 STORIES AND TALES. 

unchanged, as it will stand for ages yet to come. The accla- 
mations of the moment have died away, the song of the singei 
is mute, her notes and her smiles all are forgotten, and 
passed away like a dream. Even to me this hoar ranvJi* 
with it but a transient reminiscence. 

TWELFTH EVENING. 

I looked in at the window of a newspaper editor HI a Ok I 
nan town, said the Moon. The room was handsomely furnished^ 
the shelves well lined with books, and a chaos of newspapers 
were scattered about. Several young men were in the room. 
The editor himself stood at his desk, and before him lay two 
little books, both by anonymous authors, which were to be 
reviewed. 

" Here is a book that has been sent me," said he : "I have 
not yet read it, but 'tis prettily got up ; what say you to its 
contents ? ' 

" Why," replied one of the young men, who was himself a 
poet, " all very good, with the exception of some few things ; 
but then, good Lord ! he is only a young man. 'Tis true the 
verses might be improved ; the ideas are sound enough ; 
pity only that they are so commonplace ! But what say you ? 
We cannot always expect originality. You may perhaps 
give him a lift, but in my opinion it is clear that he will never 
be anything great as a poet. Still he has read a good deal, he 
is an Oriental scholar, and shows very fair critical powers ; it 
was he who wrote the pretty review of my ' Life in the Pres- 
ent Day.' After all we must make allowance for a young 
author." 

" Nay, but he is a downright ass," said another gentleman 
in the room. " In poetry nothing is worse than mediocrity j 
depend on it, he will never rise any higher." 

" Poor devil ! " said a third. " And yet his aur.t is so proud 
of him, the lady, Mr. Editor, who got the list of subscribers 
to your last volume of translations." 

" Excellent woman ! Well, I have given just a brief notice 
of the book, unquestionable talent, a welcome gift, a flowef 
in the garden of poetry, well got up, etc. But now for the 
other book : I suppose I shall have to purchase that. I hav* 
beatd it praised , the author has genius eh ? " 



A PICTURE BOOK WITHOUT PICTURES. 



(C 



Why, so everybody says," replied the poet ; " but it *>s wild 
and unpolished. His punctuation to be sure is full of genius. 
Trust me, it will do him good to be sharply handled j he gets 
far too high notions of himself." 

"Nay, nay, you are unjust," interrupted a fourth, "Do not 
let us carp at trifles, but rather find pleasure in what is good,, 
and really there is much here to praise ; he writes better than 
all the rest put together." 

" Heaven help him ! If he is such a mighty genius, hr 
may very well bear a sharp corrective. There are folks 
enough to extol him in private ; don't let us drive him mad 
with flattery." 

The editor resumed his pen, and wrote : " Evident talent 
usual negligence here and there shows that he can write 
bad verses as well as good (see page twenty-five, where there 
are two hiatus) we recommend to him the study of the 
classics," etc. 

I passed on, said the Moon, and peeped through the win- 
dow of the aunt's house. There sat the honored poet, the 
tame one, I mean, receiving the homage of all the guests ; and 
he was happy. 

I sought the other poet, the wild one. He likewise was in 
a large assembly, and he too had his patron. His rival's 
book was the theme of conversation. " I shall son 1 ^. time or 
other read your poems," said the Maecenas: "bu. to speak 
honestly, you know I never say otherwise than I think, 
I do not expect much from them. You are in my opinion too 
wild, too fanciful. But as a man, I have nothing to say ; you 
are highly respectable." 

A young girl sat in a corner, reading a book : " The glory 
of beauty shall be trodden in the dust : the works of the dust 
shall glory in their shame. It is an old story, and yet daily 
Bew 1 " 

THIRTEENTH EVENING. 

The Moon spake. Beside the forest-path stand two cot- 
tages ; their doors are low, the windov* - placed irregularly , 
white thorn and barberries climb arounc. them. The mossy 
roof is overgrown with ye.'ow flowers and houseieek. In th 



1 6 STORIES AND TALES. 

little garden are only cabbages and potatoes ; but in th 
hedge stands a lilac -tree in blossom. Beneath it sat n littla 
girl : her eyes were fixed upon the old oak-tree between the 
cottages, on whose tall and withered trunk, which is sawn off 
at the top, a stork has built its nest. He stood above, ind 
rattled his bill. A little boy came out, and stood beside the 
girl : they were brother and sister. 

u What are you looking at ? " he asked. 

"I am looking at the stork," she replied. ''Granny told 
,ie that he will bring us a little brother this evening, or a little 
jister ; and I am watching, that I may see it when it comes." 

" The stork brings nothing," said the boy ; " trust me. 
Granny told me so, too, but she was only joking ; and then I 
asked her if she dared say so upon the Bible : no, she dared 
not do that, and I know well enough that what they say about 
the stork is only a story to please children." 

" But where then is the baby to come from ? " said the girl. 

" Our Lord brings it," said the boy. " God has it undet 
his mantle ; but no one can see God, and therefore we cannot 
see that He brings it." 

The breeze stirred in the branches of the lilac-tree. The 
children folded their hands, and looked at one another : surely 
it was God, who had come with the little baby ! and they took 
each other by the hand. The cottage door opened, and the 
grandmother called to them and said, " Come here, and see 
what the stork has brought you a little brother ! " The 
children nodded, as if they already knew that he had come. 

FOURTEENTH EVENING. 

I sailed over Luneburg Heath, said the Moon. Theie 
gtood a lonely cottage by the road-side. A few withered 
bushes grew around it, in which a nightingale was singing that 
had lost her way. In the cold of night she must surely per 
ish ; it was her swan's song I heard. 

The morning dawned, and a troop of emigrant peasants 
with their families passed by ; they were travelling in the 
direction of Bremen or Hamburg, to take ship to America, 
where they looked for brighter days. The women carried the 
youngest children on their backs while the bigger one* 



A PICTURE BOOK WITHOUT PICTURES. 

skipped along by their side. A miserable hack-horse was 
dragging a cart, upon which were piled all the chattels they 
possessed. 

The wind blew cold, and a little girl nestled closer to her 
mother, who looked up at my round orb, now just upon the 
wane, and thought of the cruel need she had suffered in hei 
home from the heavy taxes which she could not pay. Her 
thoughts were those of the whole troop. The rosy glimmer 
of day shone therefore like a ray of promise, the forerunner of 
A sun of happiness which should rise again. They heard the 
song of the dying nightingale : to them she seemed no false 
prophet, but the herald of good fortune. The wind whistled, 

they understood not its presage : " Sail over the ocean 1 
Ye have paid for the long passage with all that ye possessed - t 
poor and helpless ye will set foot upon your land of promise. 
Ye may then sell yourselves, your wives, and your children. 
Yet long ye shall not have to suffer : behind the broad and 
fragrant leaf lurks the angel of death ; his welcome breathes 
deadly fever into your blood. Sail on then ! sail on over the 
swelling waves ! ' : 

And the pilgrims were glad as they listened to the night- 
ingale's song, that surely was of happy import ! 

The day shone forth from a light veil of mists. The coun- 
try-folks were crossing the heath on their way to church. The 
women, in their black gowns and with the strip of white linen 
bound closely round their heads, seemed as if they had 
stepped out of old church pictures. Wide and dead lay the 
tcene around the withered heath, parched and murky 
plains, between white sand nil's. The women, their prayer- 
books in their hands, were going their way to church. " O 
pray ! pray ye for those who wander forth, pilgrims, to their 
gr ave, ye who abide on this side of the swelling waves ! ' 

FIFTEENTH EVENING. 

1 knew a Punchinello, said the Moon. The folks all shouted 
whenever he made his appearance on the stage. All his 
movements were comical, and raised peals of laughter in the 
house, although there was nothing in particular to call it forth, 

it was only his oddity. Even when a mere lad, romping 



1 8 STORIES AND TALES. 

about with the other boys, he was a Punchinello, Nature 
formed him for the character, by putting a hump upon hii 
ba:k and another on his chest. But the mind that was con- 
cealed beneath this deformity was, on the contrary, richly en- 
dowed. No one possessed a deeper feeling, a more vigorous 
elasticity of spirit, than he. The stage was his world of 
ideals : had he been tall and handsome, every manager would 
have hailed him as his first tragedian. All that was heroic 
and great filled his soul, and still his lot was to be a Punchi- 
nello. His very sorrow, his melancholy, heightened the dry 
comicality of his sharply marked features, and aroused the 
laughter of a ticklish public, who applauded its favorite. 

The lovely Columbine was good and kind to him, and yet 
she preferred to give her hand to Harlequin. It would in- 
deed have been too comical a thing in reality if " Beauty and 
the Beast " had married. Whenever Punchinello was dejected, 
she was the only one who could bring a smile upon his face, 
but she could even make him laugh outright. At first she was 
melancholy like him, then somewhat calmer, and at last over- 
flowing with fun. " I know well enough what ails you," she 
said ; " it is love, and love alone ! ' And then he could not 
help laughing. " Love and I ! " he exclaimed ; " that would 
be droll indeed : how the folks would clap and shout ! ' 

" It is love alone," she repeated with a comical pathos t 
* you love you love me ! " 

Aye, people may speak thus when they imagine that in 
others' hearts there is no love. Punchinello skipped high into 
the air, and his melancholy was gone. And yet she had 
spoken the truth ; he did love her ; he loved her truly, 
fervently, as he loved all that was noble and beautiful in ait. 
On her wedding-day he seemed the merriest of the merry ; 
but in the night he wept ; had the folks seen his wry face, 
they would have clapped their hands. 

Not long ago Columbine died. On the day whtwi she was 
buried, Harlequin had leave not to appear upon the boards } 
was he not a mourning widower ? But the manager had to 
give something very merry, that the public might the less 
miss the pretty Columbine and the agile Harlequin. So the 
aimble Punchinello had to be doubly merry : he danced and 



A PICTURE BOOK WITHOUT PICTURES. 19 

skipped abcut despair in his heart and all clapped theii 
Hands and cried, " Bravo, bravissimo ! ' Punchinello was 
called for. O, he was beyond all price ! 

Last night, after the performance, little Humpback strolled 
out cf the town, toward the lonely church-yard. The wreath 
of flowers upon Columbine's grave had already faded. Thers 
ie sat down it was a perfect picture his chin resting upon 
his hand, his eyes turned toward me a Punchinello upon the 
grave, peculiar and comical. Had the folks seen their favor- 
ite, how they would have clapped and cried, " Bravo, Punchi- 
nello ! bravo, bravissimo ! >: 

SIXTEENTH EVENING. 

Hear what the Moon related to me next. Often have I 
seen young officers, parading for the first time in their splen- 
did uniform ; I have seen maidens in their ball-dress ; the 
handsome bride of a prince arrayed in her festal attire ; but 
no joy to be compared to that which I witnessed last evening 
in a child, a little girl four years of age. She had received a 
present of a new little blue frock and a new rose-colored 
bonnet. The finery was already put on, and all present called 
out for candles, for the light of the moonbeams that shone in 
at the window was far too little. " Light, light ! " was the 
cry. -There stood the maiden as stiff as a doll hei little 
anas anxiously stretched out from the frock, and the fingers 
wide apart from each other ; and O how her eyes and every 
feature beamed with joy ! 

" To-morrow you shall go out," said her mother. And the 
little girl looked up at her bonnet, then down at her frock, 
and smiled with rapture. " Mother," said she, " what will th 
dogs think when they see me in my smart dress ? " 

SEVENTEENTH EVENING. 

I have told you of Pompeii, said the Moon, the corpse 
of a city, now once more ranked in the catalogue of living 
cities. I know another far stranger still, which is no corpse, 
but in truth the phantom of a city. As the fountains splash 
and piay in their marble basins, and the surge breaks upon the 
ihore, I seem as it were to oe listening to the tales and ad 
ventures ~>f the floating city. 



2O STORIES AND TALES 

Upon the face of Ocean oft hangs a mist her widow'! 
veil. The Bridegroom of the Ocean is dead : his city and his 
citadel are but an empty mausoleum now. Knowest thou this 
tfty? In the streets was never heard the rattling of carriages, 
Aor the clatter of the horse's hoof: fishes only swim there, 
and the black gondola skims like a spectre over the green 
waters. 

I will show you the city's Piazza, her chief square, con 
tinued the Moon, and you may imagine yourself in fairy 
land. The grass springs up between the broad flagstones, 
and in the morning dawn thousands of pigeons flutter around 
the isolated tower. Arcades surround you on three sides; 
beneath them sit the Turk, motionless, with his long pipe ; 
the handsome young Greek, leaning against a pillar, looks up 
at the trophies placed aloft at the tall masts, the monu- 
ment of a bygone power, from which the flags hang doun 
like mourning weepers. A maiden is sitting there to rest; 
she has set down her heavy pails of water, and the yoke bv 
which she carried them is still upon her shoulders 

The edifice you see before you is no fairy castle, it is a 
church. The gilded cupolas and the golden bal's around it 
glitter in my light. Those magnificent bronze horses aloft 
have journeyed, like the bronze horses in the fairy tale : they 
have travelled into distant lands, and are now returned again. 
Seest thou the brilliant colors upon the walls and on the win- 
dow-panes, as if at a child's entreaty some fairy had adorned 
this temple ? Seest thou the winged lion upon yonder column ' 
he glitters still of gold, but his wings are bound. The Lioi* 
is dead, for the Ocean King is dead. Void and desolate are 
the spacious halls, and where the splendid pictures once hung 
now gapes the bare walls. Beggars sleep beneath the arcades, 
on whose pavement the highest nobles alone were permitted 
to tread. From out the deep dungeons or the leaden chain 
bers, near the Bridge of Sighs, a sigh sometimes escapes) 
where once the music of the tambourine in the gay gondoU 
was heard, when from the gorgeous Bucentaur the wedding- 
ring was thrown into the Adriatic the affianced Oceat: 
Queen. Shroud thyself in mists, O Adriatic ! draw 
widow's veil around thy bosom, and enwrap thy 
sepulchre marble, spectral Venice! 



A PICTURE BOOK WITHOUT PICTURES. 21 

EIGHTEENTH EVENING. 

I looked down upon a spacious theatre, said the Moon, 
The house was filled with spectators, for a new actor made 
his first appearance. My beam glided through a narrow window 
in the wall : a rouged face was pressed against the panes : it 
was the hero of the evening. The knightly beard curled 
around his chin, but tears stood in the man's eyes, for he had 
been hissed from the stage, and hissed indeed with reason. 
Poor fellow 1 but as times go nothing that is poor meets 
with tolerance in the realm of art. He had deep feeling, and 
loved art enthusiastically; but Art did not return his love. 

The manager's bell again tinkled. In his part occurred 
these words : " Boldly and valiantly the hero advances." He 
had to advance indeed before an audience, to whom he 
was the butt of ridicule. 

When the piece was ended I saw a man, wrapped in a 
cloak, steal down the stairs : it was he, the condemned 
actor of the evening. The scene-shifters were whispering 
together. I followed the poor sinner to his garret. To hang 
one's self is an unseemly death, and poison is not always at 
hand. He was thinking of both. He looked at his pallid 
face in the glass, and peeped through his half-closed eyelids 
to see whether he should look well as a corpse. A man may be 
most unhappy and at the same time most affected. He thought 
Df death, of suicide : I verily believe he even bewept his own 
death. He wept bitterly ; and when a man has wept till ha 
can weep no more, he no longer thinks of killing himself. 

A year had passed, and again a play was acted, but upon a 
small stage, and by a company of poor itinerant players. 
Again I saw the well-known face, the rouged cheeks, the 
mrling beard. Again he looked up at me, and smiled : and 
yet he had once more been hissed from the stage hissed 
scarcely the minute before hissed too upon a miserable 
itage, and by a mean and sorry audience. 

That same evening a wretched hearse drove out of the gate 
f the town : no vehicle followed. It was the body of a sui- 
cide it was our poor rouged and whiskered hero. Th 
driver on the box was the only attendant ; none followed 



22 STORIES AND TALES. 

none, but the Moon alone. In a corner by the chun;h-yard 

wall the suicide lies buried : nettles will soon grow over the 
spot, and the grave-digger will fling upon it the weeds and 
thorns which he roots out from the other graves. 

NINETEENTH EVENING. 

I come from Rome, said the Moon. There in the middle 
of the city, upon one of the seven hills, stand the ruins of the 
imperial palace. The wild fig-tree grows in the clefts of the 
\vall, and covers the naked masonry with its broad, gray-green 
leaves. Among heaps of rubbish the jackass treads upon the 
green laurels, and feeds on the barren thistle. Hither, to this 
spot, from whence the Roman eagles once flew forth over the 
wide world came, saw, and conquered a narrow entrance 
now conducts through a miserable clay hovel, wedged in be- 
tween two broken marble columns. The tendrils of the vine 
hang down, like mourning wreaths, over the casement. 

An old woman, with her little granddaughter, now dwell in 
the palace of the Caesars, and show the place to strangers. A 
naked wall is all that remains of the splendid banquet-hali, 
and a dark cypress points with its long shadow to the spot 
where the throne once stood. The earth lies a yard deep 
upon the broken floor The little girl, now daughter of the 
imperial palace, sits there in an evening upon her stool, listen- 
ing to the vesper bell ; or she peeps through the key-hole of a 
door close by, and looks over the half of Rome and the mighty 
cupola of St. Peter's. 

All was still and silent as usual this evening, and the little 
girl was returning home in my full and clear light. Upon her 
head she carried an earthen pitcher of water, of antique form j 
she was barefooted, and her little petticoat and sleeves were 
torn, I kissed her finely rounded shoulders, her black eyes, 
and shining hair. She mounted the steep flight of steps up 
co the house, formed of the ruined fragments of the waT 
and a broken capital. The spotted lizards ran affrightedly 
past at her feet, but she was not startled. Her hand was 
raised to ring at the dorr. A hare's foot was suspended to a 
string now the bell-rope to the imperial palace. She stood 
("or a moment : what might she be thinking of ? Pel 



A PICTURE BOOK WITHOUT PICTURES. 

diance of the beautiful image of the infant Jesus, clad in 
silver and gold, in the chapel below, where the silver lamps 
were burning, and the well-known vesper hymn was chanted. 
I know not. But again she went on, and stumbled : the 
earthen pitcher fell from her head, and broke upon the maiblc 
step. She burst into tears : the pretty daughter of !:he imperial 
palace wept over the paltry, broken clay pitcher. She stood 
there, barefooted, and wept, and dared not pull the string, tha 
bell -rope of the imperial palace. 

TWENTIETH EVENING. 

The Moon had not shone for more than a fortnight : at last 
I saw her again, and she stood round and clear above the 
slowly rising mass of clouds. Hear what she told me. 

I followed a caravan out of one of the towns of Fezzan. 
The people halted at a short distance from the sandy desert, 
upon a salt-plain, which glistened like a sheet of ice or a 
glacier, and was covered for a small extent only with the light 
drift-sand. The oldest man among them, at whose girdie 
hung the flask of water, and at whose head, when they rested, 
lay the sack of unleavened bread, the venerable patriarch 
of the troop, drew with his staff a square figure on the 
ground, and wrote in it some words from the Koran. The 
whole caravan passed over the spot thus consecrated. A 
young merchant, a son of the Sun I saw it in his sparkling 
eye, I read it in the proud beauty of his form rode pensively 
along upon his white, snorting steed. Was he thinking of 
his pretty young wife at home ? Two days only had passed 
since she was carried, a lovely bride, around the walls of the 
city on the richly caparisoned camel, decked with costly fura 
and splendid shawls. In that sweet and festal hour the drams 
and bagpipes sounded, and the women sung, amidst rejoicing 
and the firing of guns, until the camel itself was excited by 
the sounds and the music. 

But the young man, so lately married, was now journeying 
with the caravan far away into the desert. I escorted them 
on their way for many nights, and saw them rest beside the 
wells, under the palm-trees, which were half burnt up by the 
fierce rays of the sun. A camel dropped, and they plunged 



24 STOKIES AND TALES. 

the knife into its breast, and roasted the meat at the 
My beams, which cooled the glowing sand, showed them at 
the same time the black rocks, dead islands in the vast sandy 
ocean. They encountered no hostile tribes upon their path- 
less road ; no storms arose ; no pillar of sand passed like a 
destroying angel over the caravan. 

Meanwhile at home the lovely young wife prayed foi hti 
husband and her father. " Has ill befallen them ?" she asked 
of my golden horn. "Are they dead ? 5:l she asked of ray 
beiming orb. 

The desert now lies behind them. This evening they are 
seated beneath the tall palm-trees ; the crane flies around 
them flapping her long wings, and the pelican looks trustingly 
at them from out the boughs of the mimosa. The luxuriant 
underwood is trodden down by the heavy tramp of the ele- 
phant. A troop of negroes are returning from a market in 
the interior of the country: the women, with their indigo-blue 
aprons and their black hair decked with brass buttons, are 
driving the heavily laden oxen, upon which the naked black 
children are lying asleep. A negro leads by a rope a tame 
lion, caught young, which he has purchased. 

They approach the caravan. The young merchant remains 
silent and motionless ; he is thinking of his gentle wife ; in 
the land of the Black he is dreaming of his fair and fragrant 
flower, far away beyond the desert : he raises his head 

A cloud passed before the Moon, and then another cloud 
That evening I heard no more. 

TWENTY-FIRST EVENING. 

I saw a little girl weeping, said the Moon : she wept at the 
unkindness of the wicked world. A splendid doll had been 
given her ; so pretty, so delicate, so elegant a doll, surely 
she could never have been formed to bear a cross of anv kind. 

tt 

But the little girl's brothers, like rude boys, had taken the 
doll, set it on a high branch of a tree in the garden, and then 
run away. Poor child ! she could not get at her doll, nor help 
her down from her perilous seat ; and this was just the reasor 
why she wept. Doubtless the doll too wept, for she sti etched 
out her arms imploringly through the thick green foliage 



A PICTURE BOOK WITHOUT PICTURES. 25 

which formed her airy prison ; and it seemed as if a look of 
terror was pictured on her little cheek, which was usually so 
rosy and bmiling, as she peeped through the leaves. 

Yes, this was one of the misfortunes of life, of which 
Mamma so often spoke. Alas, poor doll ! the evening twilight 
*as already coming on, and night would soon be here. Had 
the poor little creature to sit in the tree alone the whole night 
long, in the open air ? Ah, this the little girl could not bear. 
"I will stay with you!" said she, though in truth she was 
not over-courageous. She already fancied that she saw th? 
Jittle Nixes with their tall, pointed caps, peeping from the 
bushes, and long, fearful ghosts dancing about in the alley of 
chestnut-trees, then approaching nearer and nearer, stretch- 
ing out their hands toward the tree on which the doll wag 
hung, and pointing at her with a malicious grin. O, how 
the little maiden's heart quailed with fear ! " And yet/' 
thought she, " if we have done nothing sinful, the evil spirits 
cannot harm us. But perhaps I have done some wrong?' 
She reflected a moment. "Ah, yes indeed ! " she exclaimed 
in a penitent tone : " I laughed at the poor little duck with a 
red rag round its leg ; it limps so drolly and I laughed at it ; 
but indeed I know how wrong it is to laugh at dumb animals." 
And she looked up at her doll. " Have you ever laughed at 
animals ? " she asked. And it had just the appearance as if 
the doll shook its head. 

TWENTY-SECOND EVENING. 

I looked down upon the Tyrol with a soft and saddened 
smiie, said the Moon, and the pine-trees cast their deep shad- 
ows upon the rugged rocks. I beheld the colossal figures of 
St Christopher, with the infant Jesus on his shoulder, pictured 
on the walls of the houses, and reaching from the ground up 
to the gable, of St. Florian pouring water on the burning 
house, and the figures of Christ upon the large road-side 
r.rosses. 

High up, between two pointed summits of the western 
acclivity of the mountain range- stands a lonely nunnery, 
coking like a swallow's nest wedged in between the rock* 
Two of the Sisters were above in the tower, tolling the bell 



26 STORIES ANL TALES. 

they were both young, and they looked forth over the mom* 
fains into the wide world beyond. A travelling carriage rolled 
past on the road below ; the postilion's horn sounded, and ai 
the poor nuns looked down on it, their thoughts unconsciously 
followed the glance : a tear glistened in the eye of the younge? 
sistei The horn was heard more and more faintly, until at 
length the convent bells silenced its dying sound. 

TWENTY-THIRD EVENING. 

Listen now to what the Moon related to me further. 

It was many years ago, and in Copenhagen, that I one 
evening looked in at the window of a poorly furnished room. 
Father and mother were asleep, but their little son slept not 
I saw the chintz bed-curtain move, and the blonde, curly head 
of the child peep out from behind it. At first I fancied that 
the boy was attracted by the great Bornholm house-clock, 
painted in splendid colors of red and green, with a magnificent 
cuckoo throned on the top ; whilst the light penduJum, with 
its glittering brass plate, went incessantly tick, tank ! tick, 
tack ! as if in defiance of the heavy weights. It was not the 
clock, however, that the wakeful little fellow was washing so 
eagerly : his eye was fixed upon his mother's spinning-wheel, 
which stood beneath it. This was by far the most precious 
thing to him in the house ; yet he dared not touch it, unless 
he wished to get a slap on the hand. He would sit by the 
hour together beside his mother while she spun, with his eyes 
riveted on the droning bobbins and the circling wheel ; and 
at those moments he had always his own thoughts. Ah, if he 
were allowed only once to turn the spinning-wheel himself! 

His father and mother were asleep : he looked first at them, 
and then at the tempting spinning-wheel. Presently one little 
naked foot stole out of bed, and then another : in a moment 
there he stood bolt upright in the room ! Once more n* 
turned round, to make quite sure that his father and mother 
slept on undisturbed : then he stole softly, very softly, with 
only his little shirt on, up to the object of his innocent child- 
ish longing, and began to spin. The cord flew off, 1. ut th 
wheel turned round the more quickly. I kissed b' Q flaxea 
hair and ais bright blue eyes : it was a pretty picture. 



A PICTURE BOOK WITHOUT PICTURES. 

Suddenly his mother awoke. The bed-curtain moved ; she 
peeped out, and involuntarily thought of the Nis or other 
little sprite. " In Jesus' name ! " she groaned, jogging her 
husband in affright. He opened his eyes, rubbed them, and 
looked in astonishment at the industrious little fellow. " Why, 
that is our boy Bertel ! " said he. 

My eye turned from the narrow chamber, and in the same 
instant I looked down into the halls of the Vatican, wheie 
stand the marble statues of the gods. I lighted up the group 
of Laocoon : the stone appeared to sigh. I impressed my 
silent kiss upon the Muse's breast : I imagined that it heaved 
But my beam rested longest on the Nile group, on the colossal 
figure of the god ; leaning upon the Sphinx, there he lay, 
dreaming and thoughtful, as if musing on the years that had 
vanished in the lap of the Past. The little Cupids sported 
playfully with the crocodiles around him. In the huge cor- 
nucopia sat a tiny little one, with his arms crossed, and gazing 
at the stern and mighty River-god, half in awe and half in 
drollery, the very picture of the little fellow at the spinning 
wheel, with just the same sweetness of expression. A true 
and living grace shone in the beautiful little marble child \ 
and yet, since it first came forth from the stone, the wheel of 
Time has revolved upon its axis more than a thousand time? 
And again it had to revolve, as many turns as the boy ga\ e 
to the spinning-wheel in the abode of poverty, ere the world 
should once more witness marble gods like these. 

Years passed on, continued the Moon. It was but yester- 
day that I looked down upon a bay on the eastern coast of 
Zealand, begirt with noble woods and high banks. There 
stands an old and stately chateau, surrounded by red walls, 
and with swans upon the waters of the moat : at a short dis- 
tance lies a pretty little country town, with an old-fashioned 
church rising from the midst of fruitful orchards. 

A number of little boats, with lights and torches, glided 
past in a line over the calm surface of the water. The scene 
was beyond measure solemn. Strains of music floated around 
a festal song was sung ; and in one of the boats stood a 
man \vno was the object of general homage a tall figure, 
with a true northern air, a man of still gigantic vigor, not 



l8 STORIES AND TALbt>. 

withstanding the approach of old age, with blue eyes, and 
long, white locks : there he stood, wrapt, in the folds of a 
large Italian cloak. I knew him, and thought of the Nile 
group, and of the marble statues of the gods in the Vatican 
1 thought of the lowly chamber I believe it was in the 
" Gronne-Gade " where little Bertel, in his short and 
'ight shirt, sat and spun. The wheel of Time has revolved: 

new gods have sprung forth from the marble From 

boat to boat was heard a " Hurra ! " a " Hurra for Bertel 
Thorwaldsen ! ' 

TWENTY-FOURTH EVENING. 

I will give you a sketch from Frankfort, said the Moon. 
My glance was fixed upon one building. It was not Goethe's 
birthplace, nor was it the old town-hall, where may still be 
seen projecting through the grated windows the horned 
sku'ls of the oxen which were roasted at the coronation of the 
emperors and given to the people. The house had all the 
appearance of a burgher's dwelling, neat and comfortable, 
painted simply green, and without any mark of pretension : 
it stood close to the corner of the narrow " Juden-gasse," just 
at the limit of the dirty quarter of the Jews, it was Roths- 
child's house. 

I looked in at the open door. The staircase was bnghtly 
illuminated : there stood the livery servants, with wax-lights in 
massy silver candlesticks, bowing low before an aged woman, 
who was carried down the stairs in a sedan-chair. The 
master of the house stood by, with uncovered head, and im- 
printed a respectful kiss on the old lady's hand. It was hia 
mother : she nodded to him affectionately, and then made 3, 
sigr to the servants, who escorted her through the dark and 
aanow street to one of the meanest houses in this ill-reputed 
quarter of the town. Here she lived ; here she had borne hef 
r.hildren ; from this spot had sprung and unfolded the magic 
ticnver of their fortunes. Were she now to leave the despised 
street and the crazy old house, who knows but that fortune 
might abandon them ? This was her belief. 

The Moon related no more : her visit to me was all tog 
short this evening. But I thought on tine old lady in the nar 
row street A single word from her, and she had her mag- 



A PICTURE BOOK WITHOUT PICTURES. 

nificent palace on the Dank of the Thames, one word fiora 
hei, and there lay her villa on the Bay of Naples. " Were 1 
to forsake the Old house from which the fortunes of my sorw 
have sprung, fortune might perchance forsake them ' ' 

It may be a superstitious feeling ; but it is a superstition of 
such a nature, that, to those who know the story and have the 
picture presented to them, one word of superscription will 
convey its full comprehension a Mother. 

TWENTY-FIFTH EVENING. 

In the morning twilight of yesterday, said the Moon, I 
gazed on the chimneys of a large city, from which as yet no 
smoke arose. A little head popped up suddenly from one of 
them, and presently after half the body followed, whilst both 
arms rested upon the edge of the chimney. Hurra ! It 
was a little sweep, who for the first time in his life had 
climbed to the very top of a chimney, and now popped out 
his head. " Hurra ! ' This was indeed something different 
from creeping about in the narrow flues and the little chim- 
neys. The air was so fresh ; he could look forth over the 
whole city, and to the green fields and woods beyond. The 
sun was just rising ; round and large it shone into his face, 
which beamed with joy, although prettily begrimed with soot 
" The whole city can see me now ! " he cried ; " and the moon 
can see me, and the sun too ; hurra 1 " And again he waved 
his brush above his head. 

TWENTY-SIXTH EVENING. 

Yesternight, said the Moon, I looked down upon a city in 
China ; my beams shone upon the long, naked walls which 
form the streets. Here and there indeed was a door, but it 
remained always shut ; for what has the Chinese to do with 
the world without ? Close blinds concealed the windows be- 
hin J the street wall ; and from the Temple alone a light shone 
faint y. I looked in, and surveyed leisurely the gorgeous 
sanctuary. From the floor to the ceiling the walls are painted 
with all kinds of ridiculous figures, in bright colors and richly 
g\lt, mostly representing the actions of the goxis upon earth ; 
whilst in ever)- nijhe stands the statue of a deity, almost 



3O STORIES AND TALES 

wholly concealed behind gaudy drapery and banners. Befori 
e,ich one of the gods (which are all of tin) is placed a little 
altar, with, holy water, flowers, and burning wax-Iightb. 

Fir.st in the temple stood Fu, the principal deity, arrayed in 
a silken robe of the sacred yellow color. At the foot of the 
alta.r sat a living form, a young priest, who seemed to be 
engaged in prayer; but in the midst of his devotions he 
apparently fell into a deep reverie, a sweet, pensive melan- 
choly : surely he had some sinful thought, for his cheeks 
burned, and his head was bowed toward the ground. Poor 
Soui-houns: ! could It be that he was dreaming of his favorite 

o *-j 

little flower-bed, such as separates every Chinese house from 
the long street wall ? and was the garden work in the open 
air so much pleasanter than sweeping the temple and snuffing 
the wax-tapers? or was he longing to be seated at the richly 
spread table, and wiping his mouth with silver paper between 
the courses? or was his sin so great, that, should he dare to 
confess it, the Celestial Empire must mercilessly punish him 
with death? or were his thoughts so bold as to follow the 
ships of the barbarians to their home, far distant England ? 
No, his thoughts wandered not so far, and yet they were as 
sinful as the warm passions of youth could make them ; doubly 
sinful here in the temple, in the presence of the statues of Fu 
and the other holy deities. I know where his thoughts rested. 
At the further end of the city, upon the fiat and flagged roof, 
where beautiful vases with large white bell-flowers stood ranged 
behind the porcelain-covered balustrade, sat the lovely Pe, 
with her roguishly pinched-in eyes, full lips, and the smallest 
foot in the world. The shoe pressed her foot, but at hei 
heart there was a greater pressure still ; and she raised hei 
beautiful arms, rounded as if by the turner's lathe, and the 
satin rustled as she moved them. Before her stood a glass 
globe, in which were swimming four gold-fish. She stirred 
the water with a little parti-colored rod, varnished and shin- 
ing so gently, so slowly ! for she was lost in thought. Was 
she thinking how brilliantly the gold fish were clothed, how 
securely they lived in the glass globe, and how plentifully 
they were supplied with food, and, notwithstanding, ho* 
csany thousand times happier they would be at liberty ? Hei 



A PICTURE BOOK WITHOUT PICTURES. 

thoughts strayed far from her father's house, to the temple, 
but not with reverence for the gods. Poor Pe ! poor Soui- 
houng! their earthly thoughts met, but my cold beam laf 
between them like a cherub's sword. 

TWENTY-SEVENTH EVENING 

Perfect stillness brooded upon the ocean, said the Moon, 
The water was as transparent as the pure air jhrough which I 
Bailed, and deep beneath the surface of the waves I could 
discern the strange plants which, like giant trees of the forest, 
stretched upward their long stalks, whilst the fishes sported 
above their tops. 

High aloft in the air a flock of wild swans were winging 
their flight toward the south. One of them sank exhausted 
down, down upon its wearied wing, whilst its eye followed 
longingly the aerial caravan as it receded in the distance. It 
kept its wings expanded wide, and sank gently, until at length 
it touched the surface of the waters. Its head inclined back- 
wards, enfolded in its wings, and there it lay motionless, like 
the white lotus-flower upon the peaceful lake. 

Gradually the breeze sprung up, and fanned the surface of 
the water, which rippled, sparkling brilliantly, until by degrees 
it curled up in large and crested waves. And anew the swan 
raised up its head, whilst in fine spray the water plashed over 
its breast and back. The breaking day tinged the clouds 
with purple : with new vigor the swan shook its plumage, and 
.mounted upward with quick strokes of its wingSv It flew to 
meet the rising sun, in the direction of the coast, which 
blended with the blue horizon : thither the aerial caravan had 
gone before ; but the swan held on its course alone, with 
longing in its breast : onward it flew, but alone, over the blue 
and swelling deep. 

TWENTY-EIGHTH EVENING. 

I will give you another sketch from Sweden, said the Moon, 
In the midst of a dark pine forest, close to the gloomy bank 
of the Roxe, lies the old convent-church of Wreta. My 
beams glided through the grating in the wall, into the spacious 
vault, where monarchs sleep in large stone coffins. Upon 



32 STORIES AND TALES. 

ihe mouldering wall above glitters a kingly crown, the 
of earthly glory : but it is of wood, painted and gilded, anc? 
hung upon a wooden peg. The worm has eaten through the 
wood, and the spider has spun her web from the crown to the 
coffin, like a mourning veil, heavy with grief, and yet so pass- 
ing light and frail, as sorrow itself is not unwont to be. 

How peacefully they slumber the once mighty monarchs 
uf this changeful world ! I can still see the proud smile 
around the lips, upon whose mandate hung the issues of joy 
or of grief. 

As ths steamboat, like a magic bark, winds its course 
Among the mountains, the stranger oft makes a pilgrimage to 
the lonely church in the forest. He gazes with amazement 
on this ghastly sepulchral vault, and inquires the names of 
the kings ; but they fall on his ear as an empty and forgotten 
sound. He looks with a smile at the worm-eaten crowns ; 
and if perchance he is of a pious spirit, a feeling of sadness 
is reflected in his smile. Slumber on, ye dead ! the Moon 
still holds you in fresh remembrance, and by night she sends 
her cold ray into the gloomy chamber of your silent realm. 

TWENTY-NINTH EVENING. 

By the road-side stands an inn, said the Moon, where the 
wagoner stops to bait his horses, and opposite to it is a large 
cart-shed. The thatched roof is in parts worn away by time, 
and I looked down through the openings between the rafters 
into the cheerless shed. The turkey-cock sat asleep upon a 
perch under the trap-door of the hay-loft, and the saddle lay in 
the empty manger. 

In the middle of the shed stood an old-fashioned, shut-up 
travelling-carriage ; the gentlefolks inside were taking their 
nap in easy security, whilst the horses were baited, and the 
coachman indulged in stretching his legs, albeit (as I know 
full well) he had already enjoyed a comfortable doze for 
more than half the journey. The door of the hostler's cham- 
ber stood open ; the bed looked as if turned topsy-turvy, and 
a ^How-candle, carelessly placed on the boards, was burning 
in the socket of a dirty iron-wire candlestick. The wind blew 
eald through the rafters of the shed, and the dawn was coming 



A PICTURE BOOK WITHOUT PICTCRES. 33 

In one of the side stalls a family of poor itinerant musi- 
cians had lain down to rest for the night upon the broken 
pavement, over which a little straw was shaken clown. The 
father and mother were probably dreaming of the burning 
contents of the glass ; but the pale little girl dreamed of the 
burning tears in her eye. At their head lay a haip, at their 
;eet the dog. 

THIRTIETH EVENING. 

I will tell you a circumstance which occurred a year ago, 
said the Moon, in a country town in the south of Germany. 
The master of a dancing-bear was sitting in the tap-room of 
an inn, eating his supper ; whilst the bear, poor harmless 
beast ! was tied up behind the woodstack in the yard. 

In the room up-stairs three little children were playir.g 
about. Tramp, tramp ! was suddenly heard on the stairs 
who could it be ? The door flew open, and enter the bear, 
the huge, shaggy beast with its clanking chain ! Tired of 
standing so long in the yard alone, Bruin had at length found 
his way to the staircase. At first the little children were in a 
terrible fright at this unexpected visit, and each ran into a 
corner to hide himself. But the bear found them all out, put 
his muzzle, snuffling, up to them, but did not harm them in 
the least. He must be a big dog, thought the children ; and 
they began to stroke him familiarly. The bear stretched 
himself out at his full li ngth upon the floor, and the youngest 
boy rolled over him, and nestled his curly head in the ^aggy, 
black fur of the beast. Then the eldest boy went and fetched 
his drum, and thumped away on it with might and main \ 
whereupon the bear stood erect upon his hind legs, and began 
to dance. What glorious fun ! Each boy shouldered his 
musket ; the bear must of course have one too, and he held 
it tight and firm, like any soldier. There's a comrade for you, 
my lads ! and away they marched one, two, one, two ! 

The door suddenly opened, and the children's mother en- 
vered. Yo'i should have seen her speechless with terror 
her cheeks white as a sheet, and her eyes fixed with horror 
But the youngest boy rodded with a look of intense delight, 
*nd cried, " Mamma, we are only playing at soldiers ! ' Al 
that moment the master of the bear appeared. 



LITTLE TUK 

"\ /ES, that was little Tuk : his name was not ically Tuk ; bat 

i wnen he could not speak plainly, he used to call himself 
o. It was to mean " Charley ; " and it does very well if ona 
only knows it. Now, he was to take care of his little sitet 
Gustava, who was much smaller than he, and at the saoie 
time he was to learn his lesson ; but these two things wou'.d 
not suit well together. The poor boy sat there with his little 
sister on his lap, and sang her all kinds of songs that he knew, 
and every now and then he gave a glance at the geogi aphy- 
book that lay open before him ; by to-morrow morning he was 
to know all the towns in Zealand by heart, and to know every- 
thing about them that one can well know. 

Now his mother came home, for she had been out, and 
took little Gustava in her arms. Tuk ran quickly to the 
window, and read so zealously that he had almost read his 
eyes out, for it became darker and darker ; but his mother 
had no money to buy candles. 

" There goes the old washerwoman out of the lane yonder," 
said his mother, as she looked out of the window. "The 
poor woman can hardly drag herself along, and now she has 
to carry the pail of water from the well. Be a good boy, Tuk, 
and run across, and help the old woman. Won't you ? ' : 

And Tuk ran across quickly, and helped her ; but when he 
came back into the room it had become quite dark. There 
was nothing said about a candle, and now he had to go to 
bed, and his bed was an old settle. There he lay, and thought 
of his geography lesson, and of Zealand, and of all the mastei 
had said. He ought certainly to have read it again, but he 
could not do that. So he put the geography-book under his 
pillow, because he had heard that this is a very good way to 
iearn one's lesson ; but one cainot depend upon it. Thera 
be lay, and thought and thought ; and all at once he fancied 



LITTLE TUK. 35 

some one kissed him upon his eyes and mouth. He slept, 
and yet he did not sleep ; it was just as if the old washer- 
woman were looking at him with her kind eyes, and saying, 

*' It would be a great pity if you did not know your lesson 
lo-morrow. You have helped me, therefore now 1 will help 
you ; and Providence will help us both." 

All at once the book began to crawl, crawl about under 
Tuk's pillow. 

" Kikeliki ! Put ! put ! " It was a Hen that came crawling 
up, and she came from Kjoge. " I'm a Kjoge hen ! ' she 
said. 

And then she told him how many inhabitants were in the 
town, and about the battle that had been fought there, though 
that was really hardly worth mentioning. 

" Kribli, kribli, plumps ! ' Something fell down : it was a 
wooden bird, the Parrot from the shooting match at Prasto. 
He said that there were just as many inhabitants yonder as 
he had nails in his body ; and he was very proud. " Thor- 
waldsen lived close to me. 2 Plumps ! Here I lie very 
comfortably." 

But now little Tuk no longer lay in bed ; on a sudden he 
was on horseback. Gallop, gallop ! hop, hop ! and so he 
went on. A splendidly attired knight, with flowing plume, 
held him on the front of his saddle, and so they went riding 
on through the wood of the old town of VVordingborg. and 
lhat was a great and very busy town. On the King's castle 
lose high towers, and the radiance of lights streamed from 
every window ; within was song and dancing, and King Wal- 
demar and the young gayly dressed maids of honor danced 
together. Now the morning came on, and so soon as the SUP 
appeared the whole city and the King's castle suddenly sank 
down, one tow^r falling after another ; and at last only one 
emained standing on the hill where the castle had formerly 

1 Kjoge, a little town on Kjoge Bay. Lifting up children by putting the 
two hands to the sides of their heads is called " showing them Kjoge hens." 

3 Prasto, a still smaller town. A few hundred paces from it lies the 
estate of Nyso, where Thorwaldsen usually lived while he as in Denawrk 
nd when he executed many immortal works. 



36 STORIES AND TALES. 

teen ; * and the town was very small and poor, and the school 
boys came with their books under their arms, and said, " Twa 
thousand inhabitants ; " but that v:as not true, for the towa 
had not so many. 

And little Tuk lay in his bed, as if he Breamed, and yet as 
if he did not dream ; but some on? stood close beside him. 

"Little Tuk! little Tuk!" said the voice. It was a sea- 
man, quite a little personage, as small as ; f he had been a 
cadet ; but he was not a cadet. " I'm to bring you a greeting 
from Corsor ; 2 that is a town which is just in good progress 
a lively town that has steamers and mail coaches. In times 
past they used always to call it ugly, but that is now no longer 
true. 

" ' I lie by the sea-shore/ said Corsor. * I have high-roads 
and pleasure gardens ; and I gave birth to a poet who was 
witty and entertaining, and that cannot be said of all of them. 
I wanted once to fit out a ship that was to sail round the 
world ; but I did not do that, though I might have done it. 
But I smell deliciously, for close to my gates the loveliest roses 
bloom.' " 

Little Tuk looked, and it seemed red and green before hia 
eyes ; but when the confusion of color had a little passed by, 
it changed all at once into a wooded declivity close by a bay, 
and high above it stood a glorious old church with two high 
pointed towers. Out of this hill flowed springs of water in 
thick columns, so that there was a continual splashing, and 
dose by sat an old King with a golden crown upon his white 
head: that was King Hioar of the springs, close by the town 
of Roeskilde, as it is now called. And up the hill into the 
old church went all the Kings and Queens of Denmark, hand 
in hand, all with golden crowns ; and the organ played, and 
the springs plashed. Little Tuk saw all and heard all. 

1 V/ordingborg, in King Waldemar's time a considerable town, mrw A 
place of no importance. Only a lonely tower and a few remains of a wall 
show where the castle once stood. 

2 Corscr, on the Great Belt, used to be called the most tiresome of 
Danish towns before the establishment of steamers : for in those dayi 
travellers had often to wait there for a favorable wind. The poet Bagge 
*sn SH born there. 



LITTLE TUX". 37 

* Don't forget the towns," * said King Hroar. 

At once everything had vanished, and whither? [t seemed 
to him like turning a leaf in a book. And now stood there an 
old peasant woman, who came from Soro, where grass grows 
in the market-place ; she had an apron of gray cotton thrown 
ovei her head and shoulders, and the apron was very wet ; it 
must have been raining. 

"Yes, that it has ! " said she ; and she knew many pretty 
things out of Holberg's plays, and about Waldemar and 
Absalom. But all at once she cowered down, and wagged 
her head as if she were about to spring. " Koax ! " said she ; 
" it is wet ! it is wet ! There is a very agreeable death-silence 
in Soro!" 2 Now she changed all at once into a frog 
" Koax ! " and then she became an old woman again. " One 
must dress according to the weather," she said. " It is wet I 
it is wet ! My town is just like a bottle: one goes in at the 
cork, and must come out again at the cork. In old times 1 
had capital fish, and now I've fresh red-cheeked boys in the 
bottom of the bottle, and they learn wisdom Hebrew, 
Greek. Koax ! " 

That sounded just like the croak of the frogs, or the sound 
of some one marching across the moor in great boots ; always 
the same note, so monotonous and wearisome that little Tuk 
fairly fell asleep, and that could not hurt him at all. 

But even in this sleep came a dream, or whatever it vtas. 
His little sister Gustava, with the blue eyes and the fair curly 
hair, was all at once a tall slender maiden, and without having 
wings she could fly ; and now they flew over Zealand, over 
the green forests and the blue lakes. 

14 Do you hear the cock crow, little Tuk ? Kikeliki ! The 
fowls are flying up out of Kjoge ! You shall have a poultry- 
yard a great, great poultry-yard ! You shall not suffer hun- 

2 Roeskilde (Roesquellp, Rose-spring, falsely called Rothschild), once 
the capital of Denmark. The town took its name from King Hroar and 
trom the mary springs in the vicinity. In the beautiful cathedral most of 
the kings and queens of Denmark are buried. In Roeskilde the Danish 
Estates used to assemble. 

2 Soro, a very quiet little town, in a fine situation, surrounded by for- 
ests and lakes. Holberg, the Molierc of Denmark, here founded a nobl 
Academy. The poets Hauch and Irgemann were professors here. 



38 STORIES AND TALES. 

ger nor need ; and you shall hit the bird, as the s lying is 
you shall become a rich and happy man. Your house shall 
rise up IIKC King Waldemars tower, and shall be richly 
adorned with marble statues, like those of Prasto. You 
understand me well. Your name shall travel with fame round 
the whole world, like the ship that was to sail from Corsor." 

" Dcn't forget the towns," said King Hroar. " You will 
speak well and sensibly, little Tuk ; and when at last yoo 
descend to your grave, you shall sleep peacefully " 

"As if I lay in Soro," said Tuk, and he awoke. It was 
bright morning, and he could not remember his dream. Bat 
that was not necessary, for one must not know what is to 
happen 

Now he sprang quickly out of his bed, and read his bock, 
and all at once he knew his whole lesson. The old washer- 
woman, too, put her head in at the door, nodded to him in a 
friendly way, and said, 

"Thank you, you good child, for your help. May your 
beautiful dreams come true ! * 

Little Tuk did not know at all what he had dreamed, bat 
there was Or.e above who knew it 



IB AND CHRISTINE. 

NOT far from the clear stream Gudenau, in North Jutland, 
in the forest which extends by its banks ?.nd far into 
the country, a great ridge of land rises and stretches along like 
a wall through the wood. By this ridge, westward, stands a 
farm-house, surrounded by poor land ; the sandy soil is seen 
through the spare rye and wheat-ears that grow upon it 
Some years have elapsed since the time of which we speak. 
The people who lived here cultivated the fields, and moreover 
kept three sheep, a pig, and two oxen ; in fact, they supported 
themselves quite comfortably, for they had enough to live on 
if they took things as they came. Indeed, they could have 
managed to save enough to keep two horses ; but, like the 
other peasants of the neighborhood, they said, "The horse 
eats itself up " that is to say, it eats as much as it earns. 
Jeppe-Jans cultivated his field in summer. In the winter he 
made wooden shoes, and then he had an assistant, a journey- 
man, who understood as well as he himself did how to make 
the wooden shoes strong, and light, and graceful. They 
carved slices and spoons, and that brought in money. It 
\voulcl have been wronging the Jeppe-Janses to call them poor 
people. 

Little Ib, a boy seven years old, the only child of the family, 
would sit by, looking at the workmen, cutting at a stick, and 
occasionally cutting his finger. But one day Ib succeeded so 
well with two pieces of wood, that they really looked like little 
wooden shoes ; and these he wanted to give to little Christine. 
And who was little Christine ? She was the boatman's daugh- 
ter, and was as graceful and delicate as a gentleman's child ; 
had she been differently dressed, no one would have imagined 
that she came out of the hut on the neighboring heath. There 
lived her lather, who was a widowe^ and supported himself 
\>y carrying fire-'.food in his great boat out of the forest to the 



STORIES AXD TALES 

estate of Silkeborg, with its great eel-pond and eel-weir, and 
sometimes even to the distant little town of Randers. He 
had no one who could take care of little Christine, and thsro 
fore the- child was almost always with him in his boat, or in 
the forest among the heath plants and barberry bushes. 
Sometimes, when he had to go as far as the town, he would 
biing little Christine, who was a year younger than Jb, to ?ta-v 
it the Jeppe-Janses. 

Ib and Christine agreed very well in every particular: thej 
divided their bread and berries when they were hungry, they 
dug in the ground together for treasures, and they ran, and 
srept, and played about everywhere. And one day they 
ventured together up the high ridge, and a long way into the 
forest ; once they found a few snipe's eggs there, and that was 
a great event for them. 

Ib had never been on the heath where Christine's father 
lived, nor had he ever been on the river. But even this was 
to happen ; for Christine's father once invited him to go with 
them, and on the evening before the excursion, he followed 
the boatman over the heath to the house of the latter. 

Next morning earlv, the two children were sitting hi^h up 

c_* * * i 

on the pile of fire-wood in the boat, eating bread and whistle- 
berries. Christine's father and his assistant propelled the 
boat with staves. They had the current with them, and 
swiftly they glided down the stream, through the lakes it forms 
in its course, and which sometimes seemed shut in by reeds 
and water plants, though there was always room for them to 
pass, and though the old trees bent quite forward over the 
water, and the old oaks bent down their bare branches, as if 
they had turned up their sleeves, and wanted to show their 
knotty naked arms. Old elder-trees, which the stream had 
washed away from the bank, clung with their fibrous roots to 
the bottom of the stream, and looked like little wooded islanJs, 
The water-lilies rocked themselves on the river. If was a 
splendid excursion ; and at last they came to the great eel- 
w*ir, where the water rushed through the flood-gates ; arid Is 
and Christine thought this was beautiful to behold. 

In those days there was no manufactory there, nor \vas 
there any town : cnly the old great farm-yard, with its scanr 



IB AND CHRISTINE. 

fields, with few servants and a few head of cattle, could be 
seen there ; and the rushing of the water through the \\eir 
and the cry of the wild ducks were the only signs of life .n 
Silkeborg. After the fire-wood had been unloaded, the father 
of Christine bought a whole bundle of eels and a slaughtered 
sucking pig, and all was put into a basket and placed in the 
Stern of the boat. Then they went back again up the stream j 
but the wind was favorable, and when the sails were hoisted 
it was as good as if two horses had been harnessed to the 
boat. 

When they had arrived at a point in the stream where the 
assistant boatman dwelt, a little way from the bank, the boat 
was moored, and the two men landed, after exhorting the 
children to sit still. But the children did not do that, or at 
least they obeyed only for a very short time. They must be 
peeping into the basket in which the eels and the sucking 
pig had been placed, and they must needs pull the sucking 
pig out, and take it in their hands, and feel and touch it all 
over ; and as both wanted to hold it at the same time, it came 
to pass that they let it fall into the water, and the sucking pig 
drifted away with the stream and here was a terrible event ! 

Ib jumped ashore, and ran a little distance along the bank, 
and Christine sprang after him. 

" Take me with you ! " she cried. 

And in a few minutes they were deep in the thicket, and 
could no longer see either the boat or the bank. They ran 
on a little farther, and then Christine fell down on the grjund 
and began to cry ; but Ib picked her up. 

" Follow me ! " he cried. " Yonder lies the house." 

But the house was not yonder. They wandered on and on, 
over the dry, rustling, last year's leaves, and over fallen 
branches that crackled beneath their feet. Soon they heard 
a loud piercing scream. They stood still and listened, and 
presently the scream of an eagle sounded through the wood. 
tt was an ugly scream, and they were frightened at it ; but 
jefore them, in the thick wood the most beautiful blueberries 
grew in wonderful profusion. They were so inviting that the 
children could not d) otherwise than stop ; and they lingered 
for some time, eating the blueberries til 1 they had quite blue 



42 STORIES AND TALES. 

mouths and olue cheeks. Now again they heard the cry they 
had heard before. 

" We shall get into trouble about the pig," said Christine. 

" Come, let us go to our house," said Ib ; " it is here in tha 
wood." 

And they went forward. They presently came to a wood, 
but it did not lead them home ; and darkness came on, and 
they were afraid. The wonderful stillness that reigned around 
was interrupted now and then by the shrill cries of the great 
horrid owl and of the birds that were strange to them. At 
last they both lost themselves in a thicket. Christine cried, 
and Ib cried too ; and after they had bemoaned themselves 
for a time, they threw themselves down on the dry leaves, ami 
went fast asleep. 

The sun was high in the heavens when the two children 
awoke. They were cold ; but in the neighborhood of this 
icsting-place, on the hill, the sun shone through the trees, and. 
there they thought they would warm themselves ; and from 
there Ib fancied they would be able to see his parents' house. 
But they were far away from the house in question, in quite 
another part of the forest. They clambered to the top of the 
rising ground, and found themselves on the summit of a slope 
running down to the margin of a transparent lake. They 
could see fish in great numbers in the pure water illumined 
by the sun's rays. This spectacle was quite a sudden surprise 
for them ; but close beside them grew a nut bush covered 
with the finest nuts ; and now they picked the nuts, and 
cracked them, and ate the delicate young kernels, which had 
only just become perfect. But there was another surprise 
and another fright in store for them. Out of the thicket 
stepped a tall old woman : her face was quite brown, and her 
hair was deep black and shining. The whites of her eyes 
gleamed like a negro's ; on her back she carried a bundle, 
and in her hand she bore a knotted stick. She was a gypsy. 
The children did not at once understand what she said. She 
brought three nuts out of her pocket, and told them that in 
these nuts the most beautiful, the loveliest things were hidden, 
for they were wishing-nuts. 

Ib looked at her, and she seemed so friendly, that he plucked 



IB AND CHRISTINE. 



43 



op courage and asked her if she would give him the nuts ; 
and the woman gave them to him, and gathered som^ more 
for herself, a whole pocketful, from the nut bush. 

And Ib and Christine looked at the wishing-nuts with great 
eyes. 

" Is theie a carriage with a pair of horses in this nut ? " h$ 
isked, 

" Yes, there's a golden carriage with two horses," answered 
the woman. 

" Then give me the nut," said little Christine. 

And Ib gave it to her, and the strange woman tied it in het 
pocket-handkerchief for her. 

" Is there in this nut a pretty little neckerchief, like the one 
Christine wears round her neck ? " inquired Ib. 

" There are ten neckerchiefs in it," answered the woman., 
" There are beautiful dresses in it, and stockings, and a hat 
with a veil." 

" Then I will have that one too," cried little Christine. 

And Ib gave her the second nut also. The third was a lit- 
tle black thing. 

" That one you can keep," said Christine ; " and it is a 
pretty one too." 

" What is in it ? " inquired Ib. 

" The best of all things for you," replied the gypsy woman. 

And Ib held the nut very tight. The woman promised to 
lead the children into the right path, so that they might find 
their way home ; and now they went forward, certainly in 
quite a different direction from the path they should have fol- 
lowed. But that is no reason why we should suspect the 
gypsy woman of wanting to steal the children. In the wild 
wood-path they met the forest bailiff, who knew Ib ; and by 
his help, Ib and Christine both arrived at home, where their 
friends had been very anxious about them. They were par- 
doned and forgiven, although they had indeed both deserved 
" to get into trouble ; " firstly, because they had let the suck- 
ing pig fall into the water, and secondly, because they had run 
away. 

Christine was taken back to her father on the heath, and Ib 
remained n the farm-house on the margin of the wood by th 



44 STORIES AND TALES, 

great ridge, The first thing he did in the evening \*as to 
bring forth out of his pocket the little olack nut, in which 
'" the best thing of all " was said to be inclosed. He placed it 
carefully in the crack of the door, and then shut the door so 
as to break the nut ; but there was not much kernel in it* 
The nut looked as if it were filled with tobacco or black rich 
tarth ; it was what we call hollow, or worm-eaten. 

" Yes, that's exactly what I thought," said Ib. " How 
could the very best thing be contained in this little nut ? And 
Christine will get just as little out of her two nuts, and will 
have neither fine clothes nor the golden carriage." 

And winter came on, and the new year began ; indeed, sev- 
eral years went by. 

Ib was at last to be confirmed ; and for this reason he went 
during a whole winter to the clergyman, far away in the near- 
est village, to prepare. About this time the boatman one day 
visited Ib's parents, and told them that Christine was now 
going into service, and that she had been really fortunate in 
getting a remarkably good place, and falling into worthy 
hands. 

"Only think ! " he said ; " she is going to the rich innkeep- 
er's, in the inn at Herriing, far toward the west, many miles 
from here. She is to assist the hostess in keeping the house ; 
and afterward, if she takes to it well, and stays to be con 
firmed there, the people are going to adopt her as their own 
daughter." 

And Ib and Christine took leave of one another. People 
called them " th(. betrothed ; " and at parting the girl showed 
Ib that she had still the two nuts that he had given her long 
ago, during their wanderings in the forest ; and she told him, 
moreover, that in a drawer she had carefully kept the little 
wooden shoes which he had carved as a present for her in 
tfieir childish days. And thereupon they parted. 

Ib was confirmed. But he remained in his mother's house, 
fa; he had become a clever maker of wooden shoes, and in 
summer he looked after the field. He did it all alone, for his 
mother kept no farm-servant, a. id his father had died long 



IB AND CHRISTINE. 45 

Only seldom he got news of Christine from some passing 
postilion or eel-fisher. But she was well off at the lich inn- 
keeper's ; and after she had been confirmed, she wrote a let- 
ter to her father, and sent a kind message to Ib and hia 
mother ; and in the letter there was mention made of certain 
linen garments and a fine new gown, which Christine had re- 
ceived as a present from her employers. This was certainly 
good news. 

Next spring, there was a knock one day at the door of our 
Ib's old mother, and behold, the boatman and Christine 
stepped into the room. She had come on a visit to spend a 
day : a carriage had to come from the Kerning Inn to the 
next village, and she had taken the opportunity to see her 
friends once again. She looked as handsome as a real lady, 
and she had a pretty gown on, which had been well sewn, and 
made expressly for her. There she stood, in grand array, and 
Ib was in his working clothes. He could not utter a word : 
be certainly seized her hand, and held it fast in his own. and 
was heartily glad ; but he could not get his tongue to obey 
him. Christine was not embarrassed, however, for she went 
on talking and talking, and, moreover, kissed Ib on his mouth 
in the heartiest manner. 

" Did you know me again directly, Ib ? "' she asked ; but 
even afterward, when they were quite left by themselves, and 
he stood there still holding her hand in his, he could only 
say, 

"You look quite like a real lady, and I am so uncouth. 
How often I have thought of you, Christine, and of the old 
times ! " 

And arm in arm they sauntered up the great ridge, and 
looked across the stream toward the heath, toward the great 
hills overgrown with bloom. It was perfectly silent ; but by 
the time they parted it had grown quite clear to him that 
Chiistine must be his wife. Had they not, even in their 
childhood, been called the betrothed pair? To him they 
seemed to he really engaged to each other, though neither of 
them had spoken a word on the subject. Only for a few more 
hours could they remain together, for Christine was obliged 
bo go back nto the next village, from whence the carriage 



46 STORIES AND TALES. 

was to start early next morning for Herning. H'/ ; father and 
Ib escorted her as far as the village. It was a fc r moonlight 
evening, and when they reached their destination, and Ib still 
held Christine's hand in his own, he could not make up hig 
mind to let her go. His eyes brightened, but still the words 
came halting over his lips. Yet they came from the depths 
of his heart, when he said, 

" If you have not become too grand, Christine, and if you 
can make up your mind to live with me in my mother's hous<. 
as my wife, we must become a wedded pair some day ; but 
we can wait a while yet." 

" Yes, let us wait for a time, Ib," she replied ; and he 
kissed her lips. " I confide in you, Ib," said Christine j 
" and I think that I love you but I will sleep upon it." 

And with that they parted. And on the way home Ib told 
the boatman that he and Christine were as good as betrothed ; 
and the boatman declared he had always expected it would 
turn out so ; and he went home with Ib, and remained that 
night in the young man s house ; but nothing further was said 
of the betrothal. 

A year passed by, in the course of which two letters were 
exchanged between Ib and Chiistine. The signature was 
prefaced by the words. " Faithful till death ! " One day the 
boatman came in to Ib, and brought him a greeting from Chris- 
tine. What he had further to say was brought out in a some- 
what hesitating fashion, but it was to the effect that Christine 
v/as almost more than prosperous, for she was a pretty girl, 
courted and loved. The son of the host had been home on a 
vis : t ; he was employed in the office of some great institution 
in Copenhagen ; and he was very much pleased with Chris- 
tine, and she had taken a fancy to him : his parents were 
ready to give their consent, but Christine was very anxious to 
retam Ib's good opinion ; " and so she had thought of refos- 
ing this great piece of good fortune," said the boatman. 

At first Ib said not a word, but he became as white as the 
wall, and slightly shook his head. Then he said slowly, 

" Christine must not reiuse this advantageous offer." 

" Then do you write a few words to her," said the boatman. 

And Ib sat down to write ; but he could not manage il 



IB AND CHRISTINE. 



47 



we]\ : the we rds would not come as he wished them ; and firs' 
he altered and then he tore up the page ; but the next morn- 
ing a letter lay ready to be sent to Christine, and it contained 
the following words : 

" I have read the letter you have sent to your father, and 
gather from it that you are prospering in all things, and that 
there is a prospect of higher fortune for you. Ask your heart, 
Christine, and ponder well the fate that awaits you, if you 
take me for your husband ; what I possess is but little. Do 
not think of me, or my position, but think of your own wel- 
fare. You are bound to me by no promise, and if in your 
heart you have given me one, I release you from it. May all 
treasures of happiness be poured out upon you, Christine- 
Heaven will console me in its own good time. 

" Ever your sincere friend, IB.' 



" 



And the letter was dispatched, and Christine duly re- 
ceived it. 

In the course of that November her banns were published 
in the church on the heath, and in Copenhagen, where her 
bridegroom lived ; and to Copenhagen she proceeded, under 
the protection of her future mother-in-law, because the bride- 
groom could not undertake the journey into Jutland on ac- 
count of his various occupations. On the journey, Christine 
met her father in a certain village, and here the two took 
leave of one another. A few words were mentioned concern- 
ing this fact, but Ib made no remark upon it : his mother said 
he had grown very silent of late ; indeed, he had become 
very pensive, and thus the three nuts came into his mind 
which the gypsy woman had given him long ago, and of which 
he had given two to Christine. Yes, it seemed right they 
were wishing-nuts, and in one of them lay a golden carriage 
with two horses, and in the other very elegant clothes ; all 
those luxuries would now be Christine's in the capital. Her 
part had thus come true. And to him, Ib, the nut had offered 
only black earth. The gypsy woman had said this was " the 
best thing of all for him." Yes, it was right that also was 
coming true. The black earth was f he best for him. Now 



STOff/SS A.V^ r. 

c'.e. -.:'./ -A ;-..-.: h.-.ol been the woman's meaning. Ii 
the black eanh, in the dark grave, would be ihe best happi: e&i 
for him, 



And or.ee ac.-.::i ve.irs passed bv, not very many, but 

^^ * J * f * 

seemed long years to Ib. The old innkeeper and his wife 
died, and the whole of their property, many thousands of dol- 
lars. came ro the son. Yes. now Christine could have the 
golden carriage and plenty of nne clothes. 

Daring the long two years that followed no letter cime hen 
Christine : and when her father at length received one from 
her, it was not write n in prosperity, by any means. Poor 
Christine ! neither she nor her husband had understood hovi 
to keep the money together, and there seemed to be no 
blessing with it, because they had not sought it. 

And again the heather bloomed and faded. The winter 
had swept for many years across the heath, and over the rid^e 
beneath which Ib dwelt, sheltered from the rough winds. The 
spring sun shone bright, and Ib guided the plough across his 
field, when one day it glided over what appeared to be a nre 
stor.e. S:"*.e:r.:r.g like a great black ship came out of the 
ground, and when Ib took it up it proved to be a piece of 
meral : and the place from which the plough had cut the stone 
g-1 earned bright!}' with ore. It was a great golden armlet of 
ancient workmanship that he had found. He had disturbed a 
- Hun's crave," and discovered the costly treasure buried in 
it. Ib showed what he had found to the clergyman, who ex- 
plained its value to him, and then he betook himself to the 
local iudges, who reported the discovery to the keeper of the 
:? . _> '..m. .i::d reorr^nie-drd Ib to deliver up the treasure in 
perse r.. 

* You have found in the earth the best thing you could 
and," said the judge. 

- The best thing I * thought Ib. ' The very best ihing for 
me, arid found in the earth ! Well, if that is the best. m 
gypsy woman was correct in what sie prophesied to me," 

So ID travelled with the ferrv-boai from Aarhus to Copen- 

* 

hastn. To ~:Ti. ^;:r h.-.i bu: o::oe or :^~:oe r.issfo r-f. ozd 
the nvei tha: rolled by his home, this seemed ike a \ 
cross ;be ocean. And be arrived in Copenhagen. 



IB AND CHRISTINE. 49 

Tne value of the gold he had found was paid over to him : it 
was a large sum six hundred dollars. And Jb of the heath 
wandered about in the great capital. 

On the day on which he had settled to go back with the 
captain, Ib lost his way in the streets, and took quite a differ- 
ent direction from the one he intended to follow. He had 
wandered into the suburb of Christianshaven, into a poor Jit- 
tie street. Not a human being was to be seen. At last a 
very little girl came out of one of the wretched houses. Ib 
inquired of the little one the way to the street which he 
wanted ; but she looked shyly at him, and began to cry bit- 
terly. He asked her what ailed her, but could not understand 
what she said in reply. But as they went along the street to- 
gether, they passed beneath the light of a lamp ; and when 
the light fell on the girl's face, he felt a strange and sharp 
emotion, for Christine stood bodily before him, just as he re- 
membered her from the days of his childhood. 

And he went with the little maiden into the wretched house, 
and ascended the narrow, crazy staircase, which led to a little 
attic chamber in the roof. The air in this chamber was heavy 
and almost suffocating : no light was burning ; but there was 
heavy sighing and moaning in one corner. Ib struck a light 
with the help of a match. It was the mother of the child 
who lay sighing on the miserable bed. 

" Can I be of any service to you ? '" asked Ib. " This little 
girl has brought me up here, but I am a stranger in thrs city. 
Are there no neighbors or friends whom I could call to you ? " 
And he raised the sick woman's head, and smoothed her pil- 
low. 

It was Christine of the heath ! 

For years her name had not been mentioned yonder, foi 
the mention of her would have disturbed Ib's peace of mind, 
and rumor had told nothing good concerning her. The 
wealth which her husband had inherited from his parents had 
made him proud and arrogant. He had given up his certain 
appointment had travelled for half a year in foreign lands, 
and on his return had incurred debts, and yet lived in an ey 
pensive fashion. His carriage had bent over more and more, 
10 ro sp^ak, untf; at last it turned over completely. Th* 

4 



STORIES /iA r Z> TALES. 

many merry companions and table-friends he n.ii entertained 
declared it served him right, for he had kept house like a 
madman ; and one morning his corpse was found in the 
:aaal. 

The icy hand of death was already on Christine. Her 
youngest child, o.ily a few weeks old, expected in prosperity 
and born in misery, was already in its grave, and it had com* 
to this with Christine herself, that she lay sick to death and 
forsaken, in a miserable room, amid a poverty that she might 
well have borne in her childish days, but which now oppressed 
her painfully, since she had been accustomed to better things. 
It was her eldest child, also a little Christine, that here suf- 
fered hunger and poverty with her, and whom Ib had now 
brought home. 

" I am unhappy at the thought of dying and leaving the poor 
child here alone," she said. "Ah, what is to become of the 
poor thing ? " And not a word more could she utter. 

And Ib brought out another match, and lighted up a piece 
of candle he found in the room, and the flame illumined the 
wretched dwelling. And Ib looked at the little girl, and 
thought how Christine had looked when she was young ; and 
he felt that for her sake he would be fond of this child, which 
was as yet a stranger to him. The dying woman gazed at 
him, and her eyes opened wider and wider : did she recog- 
nize him ? He never knew, for no further word passed over 
her lips. 

And it was in the forest by the River Gudenau, in the re 
gion of the heath. The air was thick and dark, and there 
were no blossoms on the heath plant ; but the autumn tem- 
pests whirled the yellow leaves from the wood into the stream, 
and out over the heath toward the hut of the boatman, in 
which strangers now dwelt; but beneath the ridge, safe be- 
nealh the protection of the trees, stood the little farm-house, 
trimly whitewashed and painted, and within it the turf blazed 
up cheerily in the chimney ; for within was sunlight, the beam- 
ing sunlight of a child's two eyes ; and the tones of the spring 
birds sounded in the words that came from the child's rosy 
lips : she sat on Ib's knee, and Ib was to her both father and 



IB AND CHRISTINE. 51 

mother, for her own parents were dead, and had vanished from 
her as a dream vanishes alike from children and grown men. 
Ib sat in the pretty neat house, for he was a prosperous man, 
while the mother of the little girl rested in the church-yard at 
Copenhagen, where she had died in poverty. 

Ib had money, and was said to have provided for the future. 
He had won gold out of the black earth, and he had a Chris- 
tine for his own, after all. 



FIVE OUT OF ONE SHELL. 

'"F^IIERE were five peas in one shell : tney were green, 

JL the pod was green, and so they thought all the world was 
green ; and that was just as it should be ! The shell grew, 
and the peas grew ; they accommodated themselves to circum- 
stances, sitting all in a row. The sun shone without, and 
warmed the husk, and the rain made it clear and transparent j 
it was mild and agreeable in the bright day and in the dark 
rJght, just as it should be, and the peas as they sat there be- 
came bigger and bigger, and more and more thoughtful, for 
something they must do. 

" Are we to sit here everlastingly ? "' asked one. " I'm 
afraid we shall become hard by long sitting. It seems to me 
there must be something outside: I have a kind of inkling 
of it." 

And weeks went by. The peas became yellow, and tlie pod 
also. 

" All the world's turning yellow," said they ; and they had 
a right to say it. 

Suddenly they felt a tug at the shell. The shell was torn 
off, passed through human hands, and glided down into the 
pocket of a iacket, in company with other full pods. 

" Now we shall soon be opened ! " they said ; and. that is 
just what they were waiting for. 

" I should like to know who of us will get farthest ! r> said 
the smallest of the five. " Yes, now it will soon show it- 
self." 

'* What is to be will be," said the biggest. 

" Crack ! " the pod burst, and all the five peas rolled out 
into the bright sunshine. There they lay in a child's hand 
A little boy was clutching them, and said they were fine peas 
for his pea-shooter ; and he put one in du'^ctly and shot i< 
aut 



FIVE OUT OF ONE SHELL. 

"Now I'm flying out into the wide world, catch me if you 

can ! ' And he was gone. 

" I," said the second, " I shall fly straight into the sun. 
That's a shell worth looking at, and one that exactly suits me.'' 
And away he went. 

"We'll go to sleep wherever we arrive," said the two next 
' 4 but we shall roll on all the same." And they certainly 
roiled and tumbled down on the ground before they got into 
the pea-shooter ; but they were put in for all that. " We 
phall go farthest," said they. 

" What is to happen will happen," said the last, as he was 
shot forth out of the pea-shooter ; and he flew up against the 
)ld board under the garret window, just into a crack which 
was filled up with moss and soft mould ; and the moss closed 
round him ; there he lay a prisoner indeed, but not forgotten 
by provident Nature. 

"What is to happen will happen," said he. 

Within, in the little garret, lived a poor woman who went 
out in the day to clean stoves, chop wood small, and to do 
other hard work of the same kind, for she was strong and in- 
dustrious too. But she always remained poor ; and at home 
in the garret lay her half-grown only daughter, who was very 
delicate and weak ; for a whole year she had kept her bed, 
and it seemed as if she could neither live nor die. 

" She is going to her little sister," the woman said. "I had 
only the two children, and it was not an easy thing to provide 
for both, but the good God provided for one of them by tak- 
ing her home to Himself ; now I should be glad to keep the 
other that was left me ; but I suppose they are not to remain 
separated, and my sick girl will go to her sister in heaven." 

But (he sick girl remained where she was. She lay quiet 
And patient all day long while her mother went to earn money 
out-of-doors. It was spring, and early in the morning, just as 
the mother was about to go out to work, the sun shone mildly 
and pleasantly through the little window, and threw its rays 
across the floor ; and the sick girl fixed her eyes on the low 
est pane in the window. 

" What may that green thing be that looks in at the win 
dow? It is moving in the wind." 



54 



STORIES AND TALES. 



And the mother stepped to the window, and half opened it 
" O ! " said she, " on my word, that is a little pea which has 
taken root here, and is putting out its little leaves. How can 
it have got here into the crack ? That is a little garden with 
which you can amuse yourself." 

And the sick girl's bed was moved nearer to the window, 
so that she could always see the growing pea ; and the mother 
went forth to her work. 

" Mother, I think I shall get well," said the sick child in 
the evening. " The sun shone in upon me to-day delightfully 
warm. The little pea is prospering famously, and I shall 
prosper too, and get up, and go out into the warm sunshine." 

" God grant it ! " said the mother, but she did not believe 
it would be so ; but she took care to prop with a little stick 
the green plant which had given her daughter the pleasant 
thoughts of life, so that it might not be broken by the wind ; 
she tied a piece of string to the window-sill and to the upper 
part of the frame, so that the pea might have something round 
which it could twine, when it shot up : and it did shoot up 
indeed one could see how it grew every day. 

"Really, here is a flower coming!" said the woman one 
day ; and now she began to cherish the hope that her sick 
daughter would recover. She remembered that lately the 
child had spoken much more cheerfully iian before, that in 
the last few days she had risen up in bed of her own accord, 
and had sat upright, looking with delighted eyes at the little 
garden in which only one plant grew. A week afterward the 
invalid for the first time sat up for a whole hour. Quite 
happy, she sat there in the warm sunshine ; the window was 
opened, and outside before it stood a pink pea blossom, fully 
blown. The sick girl bent down and gently kissed the deli- 
cate leaves. This day was like a festival. 

"The Heavenly Father Himself has planted that pea, and 
caused it to prosper, to be a joy to you, and to me also, my 
blessed child ! " said the glad mother ; and she smiled at the 
flower, as if it had been a good angel. 

But about the other peas ? Why, the one who flew ou* 
into the wide world and said, " Catch me if you can," fell into 
the gutter on the roof, and found a home in a pigeon's crop 



FIVE OUT OF ONE SHELL. 55 

the two lazy ones got just as far, for they, too, were eaten up 
by pigeons, and thus, at any rate, they were of some real use \ 
but the fourth, who wanted to go up into the sun, fell into the 
sink, and lay there in the dirty water for weeks and weeks, 
and swelled prodigiously. 

" How beautifully fat I'm growing ! " said the Pea. " I 
shall burst at last ; and I don't think any pea can do snore 
than that. I'm the most remarkable of all the five that were 
to the shell." 

And the Sink said he was right. 

But the young girl at the garret window stood there witL 
gleaming eyes, with the roseate hue of health on her cheeks, 
and folded her thin hands over the pea blossom, and thanked 
Heaven for it. 

" I," said the Sink, " stand up for my own pea." 



CHARMING. 

ALFRED the sculptor you know him ? We all knoa 
him : he won the great gold medal, and got a travelling 
scholarship, went to Italy, and then came back to his native 
land. He was young in those days, and indeed he is young 
yei, though he is ten years older than he was then. 

After his return he visited one of the little provincial towns 
on the island of Seeland. The whole town knew who the 
stranger was, and one of the richest persons gave a party in 
honor of him, and all who were of any consequence, or pos- 
sessed any property, were invited. It was quite an event, and 
all the town knew of it without its being announced by beat 
of drum. Apprentice boys, and children of poor people, and 
even some of the poor people themselves, stood in front of 
the house, and looked at the lighted curtain ; and the watch- 
man could fancy that he was giving a party, so many people 
were in the streets. There was quite an air of festivity about, 
and in the house was festivity also, for Mr. Alfred the sculptor 
was there. 

He talked, and told anecdotes, and all listened to him with 
pleasure and a certain kind of awe ; but none felt such respect 
for him as did the elderly widow of an official : she seemed, 
so far as Mr. Alfred was concerned, like a fresh piece of blot- 
ting paper, that absorbed all that was spoken, and asked for 
?ncre. She was very appreciative and incredibly ignorant a 
kind of female Caspar Hauser. 

" 1 should like to see Rome," she said. " It must be a 
hivel) city, with all the strangers who are continually arriving 
there. Now, do give us a description of Rome. How does 
the city look when you come in by the gate ? " 

" I cannot very well describe it," replied the sculptor. " A 
great open place, and in the midst of it an obelisk, which is 
thousand years old." 



CHARMING. 



57 



" An organist ! w exclaimed the lady, who had never met 
with the word obelisk 

A few cf the guests could hardly keep from laughing, noi 
could the sculptor quite keep his countenance ; but the smile 
lhat rose to his lips faded away, for he saw, close by the 
inquisitive dame, a pair of dark-blue eyes they belonged to 
the daughter of the speaker, and any one who has such a 
daughter cannot be silly ! The mother was like a fountain i,f 
questions, and the daughter, who listened but nevei spoktt, 
might pass for the beautiful Naiad of the fountain. How 
charming she was ! She was a study for the sculptor to con- 
template, but not to converse with ; and, indeed, she did not 
speak, or only very seldom. 

" Has the Pope a large family ? " asked the lady. 

And the young man considerately answered, as if the ques- 
don had been better put, 

" No, he does not come of a great family." 

" That's not what I mean," the widow persisted. " I mean, 
Aas he a wife and children ? " 

" The Pope is not allowed to marry," said the gentleman. 

" I don't like that," was the lady's comment. 

She certainly might have put more sensible questions ; but 
if she had not spoken in just the manner she used, would her 
daughter have leaned so gracefully upon her shoulder, looking 
straight out with the almost mournful smile upon her face ? 

Then Mr. Alfred spoke again, and told of the glory of color 
in Italy, of the purple hills, the blue Mediterranean, the azure 
sky of the South, whose brightness and glory was to be sur- 
passed in the North by a maiden's deep blue eyes. And this 
he said with a peculiar application ; but she who should have 
understood his meaning, looked as if she were quite uncon- 
scious of it, and that again was charming ! 

" Italy ! " sighed a few of the guests. 

" O, to travel ! " sighed others. 

<: Charming ! charming ! ' : ' chorused they all. 

" ys, if I win a hundred thousand dollars in the lottery," 
said the head tax-collector's lady, " then we will travel. I and 
uoy daughter, and you, Mr. Alfred ; you must be our guide. 
We'll all three travel together, and one or two good friends 



58 STORIES AND TALES. 

more." And she nodded in such a friendly way at the com- 
pany, that each one might imagine he or she was the person 
who was to be taken to Italy. " Yes, we will go to Italy ! but 
not to those parts where there are robbers we'll keep to 
Rome, and to the great high-roads where one is safe. 

And the daughter sighed very quietly. And how much 
may lie an one little sigh, or be placed in it ! The young man 
placed a great deal in it. The two blue eyes, lit up that even- 
ing in honor of him, must conceal treasures treasures of 
the heart and mind richer than all the glories of Rome ; 
and when he left the party that night he had lost his heart 
lost it completely, to the young lady. 

The house of the head tax-collector's widow was now the 
one which Mr. Alfred the sculptor most assiduously fre- 
quented ; and it was understood that his visits were not in- 
tended for that lady, though he and she were the people who 
kept up the conversation: he came for the daughter's sake. 
They called her Kala. Her name was really Calen Malena, 
and these two names had been contracted into the one name, 
Kala. She was beautiful : but a few said she was rather dull, 
and probably slept late of a morning. 

" She has always been accustomed to that," her mother 
said. " She's a beauty, and they always are easily tired. She 
sleeps rather late, but that makes her eyes so clear." 

What a power lay in the depths of those dark-blue eyes ! 
" Still waters run deep." The young man felt the truth of 
this proverb, and his heart had sunk into the depths. He 
spoke and told his adventures, and the mamma was as simple 
and eager in her questioning as on the first evening of their 
meeting. 

It was a pleasure to hear Alfred describe anything. He 
spoke of Naples, of excursions to Mount Vesuvius, and 
showed colored prints of several of the eruptions. And the 
head tax-collector's widow had never heard of them before, or 
caken time to consider the question. 

" Good heavens ! " she exclaimed. " So that is a burning 
mountain ! But is it not dangerous to the people round 
about ? " 

" Whole cities have been destroyed," he answered ; " for i/ 
stance* Pompeii and Herculaneum." 



CHARMING. 59 

"But the poor people ! And you saw all that with yom 
own eyes ? " 

"No, I did not see any of the eruptions represented in 
these pictures, but I will show you a picture of my own of an 
emption I saw." 

He laid a pencil sketch upon the table, and mamma, who 
had been absorbed in the contemplation of the highly colored 
prints, threw a glance at the pale drawing, and cried in aston- 
ishment, 

" Did you see it throw up white fire ? " 

For a moment Alfred's respect for Kala's mamma suffered 
a sudden diminution ; but, dazzled by the light that illumined 
Kala, he soon found it quite natural that the old lady should 
have no eye for color. After all, it was of no consequence, 
for Kala's mamma had the best of all things, namely, Kala 
herself. 

And Alfred and Kala were betrothed, which was natural 
enough, and the betrothal was announced in the little newspa 
per of the town. Mamma purchased thirty copies of the pa- 
per, that she might cut out the paragraph and send it to their 
friends and acquaintances. And the betrothed pair were 
happy, and the mother-in-law elect was happy too, for it 
seemed like connecting herself with Thorwaldsen. 

" For you are a continuation of Thorwaldsen," she said t 
Alfred. 

And it seemed to Alfred that mamma had in this instance 
said a clever thing. Kala said nothing ; but her eyes shone, 
her lips smiled, her every movement was graceful : yes, she 
wras beautiful ; that cannot be too often repeated. 

Alfred undertook to take a bust of Kala and of his mother- 
in-law. They sat to him accordingly, and saw how he 
moulded and smoothed the soft clay with his fingers. 

" I suppose It is only on our account," said mamma-in-law, 
"that you undertake this commonplace work, and don't lea\e 
your servant to do all that sticking together." 

" It is necessary that I should mould the clay myself," he 
replied. 

" Ah, yes, you are so very polite," retorted mamma ; and 
K.ala silently pressed his hand, still soiled by the clay. 



STORIES AND TALES. 

And he unfolded to both of them the loveliness of nature 
in creation, pointing out how the living stood higher in the 
scale than the dead creature, how the plant was developed be- 
yond the mineral, the animal beyond the plant, and man Nv 
yond the animal. He strove to show them how mind and 
beauty become manifest in outward form, and how it was the 
sculptor's task to seize that beauty and to manifest it in his 
vorks. 

Kala stood silent, and nodded approbation of the expressed 
thought, while mamma-in-law made the following confession : 

" It is difficult to follow all that. But I manage to hobble after 
you with my thoughts, though they whirl round and round, but 
I contrive to hold them fast." 

And Kala's beauty held Alfred fast, filled his whole soul, 
and seized and mastered him. Beauty gleamed forth from 
Kala's every feature gleamed from her eyes, lurked in the 
corners of her mouth, and in every movement of her fingers. 
Alfred the sculptor saw this: he spoke only of her, thought 
only of her, and the two became one ; and thus it may be said 
that she spoke much, for he and she were one, and he was al- 
ways talking of her. 

Such was the betrothal ; and now came the wedding, with 
bridesmaids and wedding presents, all duly mentioned in the 
wedding speech. 

Mamma-in-law had set up Thorwaldsen's bust at the end 
of the table, attired in a dressing-gown, for he was to be a 
guest ; such was her whim. Songs were sung and cheers 
were given, for it was a gay wedding, and they were a hand' 
some pair. " Pygmalion received his Galatea," so one of the 
songs said. 

" Ah, that's your mythologies," said mamma-in-law. 

Next day the youthful pair started for Copenhagen, where 
ihey were to live. Mamma-in-law accompanied them, " to 
fake care of the commonplace," as she said meaning the 
domestic economy. Kala was like a doll in a doll's house, all 
was so bright, so new. and so fine. There they sat, all three j 
and as for Alfred, to use a proverb that will describe his posi- 
tion, we may say that he sat like the friar m the goose-yard. 

The magic of form had enchanted him He had looked al 



CHARMING. 6 1 

the case, and cared not to inquire what the case contained, 

and that omission brings unhappiness, much unhappiness into 
married life ; for the case may be broken and the gilt may 
come off, and then the purchaser may repent his bargain. In 
a large party it is very disagreeable to observe that one's 
buttons are giving way, and that there are no buckles to fall 
back upon ; but it is worse still in a great company to become 
aware that wife and mother-in-law are talking nonsense, and 
that one cannot depend upon one's self for a happy piece ot 
ttit to carry off the stupidity of the thing. 

The young married pair often sat hand in hand, he speak- 
ing and she letting fall a word here and there the same 
melody, the same clear, bell-like sounds. It was a mental 
relief when Sophy, one of her friends, came to pay a visit. 

Sophy was not pretty. She was certainly free from bod- 
ily deformity, though Kala always asserted she was a little 
crooked ; but no eye save a friend's would have remarked it. 
She was a very sensible girl, and it never occurred to her that 
she might become at all dangerous here. Her appearance 
was like a pleasant breath of air in the doll's house ; and air 
was certainly required there, as they all acknowledged. They 
felt they wanted airing, and consequently they came out intc 
the air, and mamma-in-law and the young couple travelled to 
Italy. 

" Thank Heaven that we are in our own four walls again ! " 
was the exclamation of mother and daughter when they came 
home a year after. 

" There's no pleasure in travelling," said mamma-in-law. 
" To tell the truth, it's very wearisome I beg pardon for 
saying so. I found the time hang heavy, although I had my 
children with me ; and it's expensive work, travelling, very 
expensive ! And all those galleries one has to see, and the 
quantity of things you are obliged to run after ! You must 
d it for decency's sake, for you're sure to be asked when you 
come back ; and then you're sure to be told that you've 
omitted to see what was best worth seeing. I got tired at las! 
vf those endless Madonnas : one seemed to be turning a Ma 
uonni one's sell J " 



62 STORIES AND TALES. 

" And what bad living you get ! " said Kala. 

"Yes," replied mamma, " no such thing as an honest meal 
soup. It's miserable trash, their cookery." 

And the travelling fatigued Kala: she was always fatigued, 
that was the worst of it. Sophy was taken into the house, 
where her presence was a real advantage. 

Mamma-in-law acknowledged that Sophy understood both 
housewifery and art, though a knowledge of the latter could 
not be expected from a person of her limited means ; and she 
was, moreover, an honest, faithful girl : she showed that thor- 
oughly while Kala lay sick fading away. 

Where the case is everything, the case should be strong, or 
else all is over. And all was over with the case Kala died. 

" She was beautiful," said mamma ; " she was quite differ- 
ent from the antiques, for they are so damaged. A beauty 
ought to be perfect, and Kala was a perfect beauty." 

Alfred wept, and mamma wept, and both of them wore 
mourning. The black dress suited mamma very well, and 
she wore mourning the kngest. Moreover, she had soon to 
experience another grief in seeing Alfred marry again 
marry Sophy, who had no appearance at all. 

" He's gone to the very extreme," cried mamma-in-law ; " he 
has gone from the most beautiful to the ugliest, and has for- 
gotten his first wife. Men have no endurance. My husband 
was of a different stamp, and he died before me." 

e " Pygmalion received his Galatea," said Alfred : " yes, that's 
what they said in the wedding song. I had once really fallen 
in love with the beautiful statue, which awoke to life in my 
arms , but the kindred soul which Heaven sends down to us, 
the angel who can feel and sympathize with and elevate us, I 
have not found and won till now. You came, Sophy, not in 
the glory of outward beauty, though you are fair fairer than 
is needful. The chief thing remains the chief. You came to 
teach the sculptor that his work is but clay and dust, only an 
outward form in a fabric that passes away, and that we must 
seek the essence, the internal spirit. Poor Kala ! ours waa 
but wayfarers' life. Yonder; where we shall know each other 
by sympathy, we shall be haif strangers." 

" That was not lovingly spoken," said Sophy " not spokes 



CHARMING. 65 

like a true Christian. Vender, where there is no giving in 
marriage, but where, as you say, souls attract each other by 
sympathy ; there where everything beautiful develops itself 
and is elevated, her soul may acquire such completeness that 
it may sound more harmoniously than mine ; and you will 
then once more utter the first rapturous exclamation of 
love, ' Beautiful most beautiful 1 ' " 



PEITER, PETER, AND PEER. 

WHAT children know nowadays is past belief: it :'s hard 
to say what they do not know. That the stoik came 
and fetched them out of the well or the mill-dam, when they 
were tiny little things, and brought them to father and mother, 
is such an old story now that they no longer believe it, and 
yet it is the real truth. 

But how comes it that the little ones are down in the mill- 
dam or the well ? Ah ! not every one knows that, but there 
are some few who do know it. Have you ever looked well at 
the sky, on a clear, starlight night, and watched the many 
shooting-stars ? It is as if they were stars that fell from the 
sky and disappeared in the darkness. Even the most learned 
cannot explain what they do not know themselves ; neverthe- 
less, when one knows it, one can explain it. It is like a little 
candle from a Christmas-tree, that drops from the deep blue 
sky, and is blown out by the evening wind. It is a soul spark 
from our Lord, that flies down toward the earth, and when 
''t comes into our thick, heavy air, loses its brilliancy, and 
there only remains of it something that our eyes cannot see, 
for it is something much finer and more delicate than our 
.air, a little child from heaven ; a little angel, but without 
wings, for it has to become a human child, and then what 
would it do with wings, if it had them ? 

Softlv it glides through the air, and the wind wafts it into a 

^ o o 

flower, a dandelion maybe, or a rose, or cowslip, and 
there it lies and waits. It is so light and airy that a fly could 
carry it off, and a bee could do that very easily ; but when 
these come to hunt for their sweetness in the flower, and find 
the little air-child lying there in the way, they do not whisk it 
Kit. O no ! they would never do that ; they take it and carry 
rt to a water-lily leaf, where they lay it down in the warm sun- 
thine, and f^om the leaf the air-child creeps and scrambles 



PEITER, PETER, AND PEER, 

nto the water, where it remains, sleeping and growing till it is 
big enough for the stork to see it ; and then he picks it up 
and carries it to some kind family where they very much wish 
for such a sweet little one. But how sweet or not it becomes, 
that depends on whether the little one has drunk pure, clear 
water, or whether it has swallowed mud and duck-weed the 
wrong way : that makes one so earthy ! 

The stork never chooses, but takes the first one he happens 
to see. One comes into a pleasant house to kind and lovirg 
parents ; another comes to poor people in great sorrow and 
misery : it would have been much better to remain in the mill- 
dam ! 

The little ones never can remember afterward what they 
dreamed while they lay in the water, under the water-lily leaf, 
where, when evening came, they heard the frogs sing " Coax, 
coax, gwax ; " and that means, in human language, " Make 
haste to go to sleep and dream." Nor can they remember in 
what flower they lay at first, nor how it smelt ; and yet there 
is always something within them, when they are grown men 
and women, which makes them feel, " This flower I like 
best ; " that is because it is the one they were laid in by the 
wind, when they were air-children. 

The stork lives to a good old age, and always takes an in- 
terest in the little ones whom he has brought out into the 
world, and takes note of how they get on, and if they beha,ve 
well. To be sure, he cannot do much for them, or in any way 
change anything in their lives, for he has his own large family 
to attend to, but at least he never lets them quite out of his 
thoughts. 

I know an old and very worthy, honest Stork, who has had 
much experience, and has fetched many little ones out of the 
water, and knows their histories in which there always is to 
be found a little mud and duck-weed from the mill-dam. I 
begged him to tell me the history of one of them and he said 
I should have three instead of one, out of the Peiter sens' 
house. 

That was a remarkably nice family, the Peitersens ; the 
father was a member of the common council, and that was a 
great distinction. To this home the stork brought a little fel- 



66 STORIES AND TALES. 

low who was called Peiter ; and the year after he brought an- 
other, and him they called Peter ; and when the third on? 
came he got the name of Peer ; because the names of Peiter, 
Peter, Peer, are all contained in that of Peitersen. Here then 
were three brothers, three shooting-stars, each rocked in 
a flower, then laid under the water-lily leaf in the mill-darn, 
and fetched from there by the Stork and brought to the Peiter- 
sen family, who live in the corner house that you have so often 
seen. 

They grew in body and in mind, and wanted to be some- 
thing more than common councilmen. Peiter said he wanted 
to be a robber ; he had seen the play of " Fra Diavolo," and 
after that decided upon the robber business, as the most de- 
lightful in the world. 

Peter said he would be a soap-fat man, and carry a rattle 
that makes a dreadful noise, such a one as he had heard 
that soap-fat men in other countries have ; and Peer, who was 
such a good, sweet boy, round and plump, but who used to 
bite his nails, that was his only fault, Peer wanted to be 
"Papa." And this was what each said he wanted to be in 
the world > when people asked them about it. 

And then they were sent to school, and the one was firft 
and the other last of his class, and one came just in between ; 
but for all that they might be just as good and as clever, the 
one as the other, and so they were, at least so said their 
fond and very clear-sighted parents. 

They went to children's parties, and they smoked cigars 
when nobody was looking, and they made great progress in 
knowledge and insight. 

Pieter, from the time he was quite small, was quarrelsome 
and fierce, just as a robber ought to be ; he was a very 
naughty boy, but that came, his mother said, from worms, - 
naughty children always have sonr.ething the Tiatterwith them, 
that is mud in the stomach, from the mill-darn. But 
one day his mother's new silk gown was the worse for his ob- 
stinacy and naughtiness. 

" Don't push the tea-table, my sweet lamb," said his mother. 
"You might upset the cream-pitcher, and then I should get 
spots on my silk gcwn j "' and the " sweet lamb." with a firm 



FETTER. PETER, AND PEER. 6? 

hand, took the cream-pitcher, and with a firm hand poured all 
the cream into mamma's lap, and mamma could not help say- 
ing " O lamb, lamb, that was careless of you, lamb ! " But he 
had a will of his own, that she could not deny, and a 
strong will shows character, and that is so pleasant for a 
mother to see. 

He might undoubtedly have become a robber, but he didn't 
after all ; he only came to look like one wore a slouched 
hat, bare throat, and long, lank hair; he was to have been an 
artist, but only got as far as the clothes, and looked like & 
hollyhock, and all the people he drew looked like hollyhocks, 
they were so lanky. He was very fond of that flower, and 
the stork said he had lain in it when he was an air-child. 

Peter must have lain in a buttercup : he looked so buttery 
around the corners of his mouth, and had such a yellow skin, 
that one could not but fancy that if he were cut in the skin, 
butter would come out. He ought to have been a butter- 
dealer, and might have been his own sign ; but the inner man, 
in him, was a soap-fat man with a rattle. He was the mu- 
sical member of the Peitersen family " musical enough for 
all of them," said the neighbors. He composed seventeen 
new polkas in one week, and then put them all together and 
made an opera of them, with accompaniment of drum and rat- 
tle. Ugh ! how fine that was ! 

Peer was small, red, and white, and quite ordinary ; he had 
lain in a daisy. He never defended himself when the other 
boys tried to fight him : he said he was the most reasonable, 
and the most reasonable always gives way. 

He made collections ; first of slate pencils, and after that 
of the seals of letters ; and then he got a little cabinet of Nat- 
ural Histoiy curiosities, in which was the skeleton of a 
stickleback, three blind young rats in alcohol, and a stuffed 
mole. Peer had great taste for science and an eye for the 
beauties of nature and that was very satisfactory for his par- 
ents, and for Peer too. 

His brothers were both engaged *o be married, while he 
fctill thought of nothing but completing his collection of water- 
fowl's eggs. He knew a great deal more about animals thac 
about human beings ; he even thought that we never could b 



68 STORIES AND TALES. 

as great as the animals in the feeling which we consider & 
the highest of all, and that is love. He saw that when 
Mrs. Nightingale was on her nest, setting, Mr. Nightingale sa 
on a branch close by and sang all night to his little wife, 
"Kluck-kluck-zi-zi-lo-lo-li ! ' Peer felt that he never could 
do that, and that it would be impossible for him to sacrifice 
his night's rest in that way. When Madame Stork had the 
oaby-storks in the nest, Mr. Stork stood all night on one leg 
on the edge of the roof, to watch. Peer could not have stood 
30 for an hour ! 

And when one day he closely inspected a spider's web, and 
saw what it contained, he utterly renounced all ideas of mar- 
riage. Mr. Spider weaves his web that he may catch thought- 
less flies, no matter if old or young, fat or lean ; he only lives 
for the support of his family. But Mrs. Spider lives only for 
him. She eats him up out of sheer love ; she eats his heart, 
his head, his stomach, and nothing but his long, thin legs re- 
main in the web, in the place where he sat with his heart full 
of anxiety for the welfare of his family. And this is the real, 
pure truth right straight out of the Natural History book. 
Peer saw all this and grew thoughtful : to be so dearly loved 
by one's wife, that she eats one up out of love ! No, that is 
too much no human being could do as much as that, and 
would it be desirable ? 

And then Peer resolved never to marry, never to give nor 
to take a kiss ; that might look like the first step toward mar- 
riage. But he got a kiss, notwithstanding the same that we 
must all get some day the great kiss that Death gives. When 
we have lived long enough, then Death is ordered to " kiss 
him away," and away we go ; there comes a ray of sunshine, 
straight from our Lord, so bright and dazzling as almost to 
jlind us, and then the soul which came from heaven as a 
shooting-star, goes back like a shooting-star, but not to sleep 
in a flower, or to dream under the leaf of the water-lily. O. 
no ! it has much more important things to do ; it goes into 
the great land of eternity and there it stays, but what that 
land is like, no one can say and no one knows. No one has 
peeped into it, not even the Stork, although he knows and has 
seen more than almost any one else. But he knew nothing 



PEITEA, PETER, AND PEER. 

more of Peer after he had gone to that strange land than what 
I have told you, though about Peiter and Peter he said he 
could tell much more ; but I thought I had heard enough of 
them, and I suppose you have too, and so I thanked him and 
bade him good-by for this once. But now he wants payment 
for this commonplace little story three frogs and a little 
snake he takes his pay in creature-comforts, you see. 
Will you pay him ? I will not : I have neither frogs ma 
makes. 



THE ICE MAIDEN. 

LITTLE RUDY. 

IET us pay a visit to Switzerland. Let us look 
^ us in that magnificent mountainous country, where the 
noods creep up the sides of the precipitous walls of rock ; let 
us ascend to the dazzling snow-fields above, and descend again 
to the green valleys beneath, where the rivers and the brooks 
foam along as if they weie afraid that they should not fast 
enough reach the ocean and be lost in its Immensity. The 

o ^ 

sun's burning rays shine on the deep dales, and they also shine 
upon the heavy masses of snow above, so that the ice-blocks 
which have been accumulating for years melt and become roll- 
ing avalanches, piled-up glaciers. Two such lie in the broad 
mountain clefts under Schreckhorn and Wetterhorn, near the 
little mountain town of Grindelwald. They are wonderful to 
behold, and therefore in summer-time many strangers come 
here from every foreign land. They come over the lofty snow- 
covered hills ; they come through the deep valleys, and from 
thence for hours and hours they must mount \ and always, as 
they ascend, the valleys seem to become deeper and deeper, 
until they appear as if viewed from a balloon high up in the 
air. The clouds often hang like thick heavy curtains of 
smoke around the lofty mountain peaks, while clown in the 
valley, where the many brown wooden houses lie scattered 
about, a bright ray of the sun may be shining, and bringing 
into strong relief some brilliant patch of green, making it look 
as if it were transparent. The waters foam and roar as they 
rush along below they murmur and tinkle above. They 
look, up there, like silver ribbons streaming down over the 
rocks. 

On both sides of the ascending road lie wooden houses. 
Each house has its little potato garden, and this is a nece- 



THh 1L MAIDEN J\ 

ity ; for within doors yonder are many mouths the houses 
are crammed with children and children often waste their 
food. From all the cottages they sally forth in swarms, and 
throng round travellers, whether these are on foot or in car- 
riages. The whole troop of children are little merchants 
they offer for sale charming toy wooden houses, models of the 
dwellings one sees here among the mountains. Whether it 
be fair weather or foul, the crowds of children issue *brth with 
their wares. 

Some twenty years ago occasionally stood here, t at always 
at a short distance from the other children, a little boy who 
was also ready to engage in trade. He stood with an earnest, 
grave expression of countenance, and holding his deal box 
fast with both his hands, as if he were afraid of losing it. 
The very earnestness of his face, and his being such a little 
fellow, caused him to be remarked and called forward, so 
that he often sold the most he did not himself know why. 
Higher up among the hills lived his maternal grandfather, 
who cut out the neat, pretty houses, and in a room up yonder 
was an old press full of all sorts of things nut-crackers, 
knives, forks, boxes with prettily carved leaf-work, and spring- 
ing chamois : there was everything to please a child's eye. 
But the little Rudy, as he was called, looked with greater 
interest, and longing at the old fire-arms and other weapons 
which were hungup under the beams of the roof. " He should 
have them some day," said his Grandfather, " when he was big 
enough and strong enough to make use of them." Young as 
the boy was, he was set to take care of the goats ; and he 
who had to clamber after them was obliged to keep a good 
lookout and to be a good climber. And Rudy was an excel- 
lent climber ; he even went higher than the goats, for he was 
fond of seeking for birds'-nests up among the tops of the trees. 
Bold and adventurous he was, but no one ever saw him smile, 
except when he stood near the roaring cataract or heard the 
thunder of a rolling avalanche. He never played with the 
other children he never went near them, except when his 
grandfather sent aim down to sell the things he made. And 
Rudy did not c^re much for that ; he preferred scrambling 
ibout ainc-j- the mountains, or sitting at home w'th his s 



72 STORIES AND TALES. 

father, and hearing him tell stones of olden days, and of the 
people near by at Meyringen, from whence he came. " This 
tribe had not been settled there from the earliest ages of the 
world," he said ; " they were wanderers from afar ; they Lad 
come from the distant North, where their race still dwelt, and 
were called 'Swedes.' This was a great deal for Rudy to 
learn, but he learned more from other sources, and these were 
the animals domiciled in the house. One was a large dog, 
Ajola, a legacy from Rudy's father the other a tom-cat. 
Rudy had much for which to thank the latter he had taught 
him to climb. 

" Come out upon the roof with me ! " the Cat had said, 
distinctly and intelligibly ; for when one is a young child, and 
can scarcely speak, fowls and ducks, cats and dogs, are almost 
as easily understood as the language that fathers and mothers 
use. One must be very little indeed then, however ; it is the 
time when grandpapa's stick neighs, and becomes a horse 
with head, legs, and tail. 

Some children retain these infantine thoughts longer than 
others ; and of these it is said that they are very backward, 
exceedingly stupid children people say so much ! 

" Come out upon the roof with me, little Rudy ! " was one 
of the first things the Cat said, and Rudy understood him. 

" It is all nonsense to fancy one must fall down ; you won't 
fall unless you are afraid. Come! set one of your paws here, 
the other there, and take care of yourself with the rest of your 
paws ! Keep a sharp lookout, and be active in your limbs 
If there be a hole, spring over it, and keep a firm footing as I 
do." 

And so also did little Rudy ; often and often he sat on the 
shelving roof of the house with the cat, often too on the tops 
of the trees ; but he sat also higher up among the towering 
rocks, which the cat did not frequent. 

" Higher ! higher ! " said the trees and the bushes. " Do 
vou not see how we climb up to what height we go, and 
how fast we hold on, even among the narrowest points oi 
rock ? " 

And Rudy gained the top of the hill earlier than the sun 
had gained it ; an<^ there he took his morning draught, th< 



THE ICE MAIDEN. 73 

fresh invigorating mountain air that drink which only Oui 
Lord can prepare, and which mankind pronounces to be the 
early fragrance from the mountain herbs and the wild thyme 
and mint in the valley. All that is heavy the overhanging 
clouds absorb within themselves, and the winds carry them 
over the pine woods, while the spirit of fragrance becomes 
air light and fresh ; and this was Rudy's morning draught. 

The sunbeams those daughters of the sun, who bring 
blessings with them kissed his cheeks ; and Dizziness stood 
near on the watch, but dared not approach him ; and the 
swallows from his grandfather's house beneath (there were 
not less than seven nests) flew up to him and the goats, sing- 
ing, " We and you, and you and we ! ' They brought him 
greetings from his home, even from the two hens, the only 
birds in the establishment, though Rudy was not intimate with 
them. 

Young as he was, he had travelled, and travelled a good 
deal for such a little fellow. He was born in the Canton of 
Valais, and brought from thence over the hills. He had 
visited on foot Staubbach, that seems like a silver veil to 
flutter before the snow-clad, glittering white mountain Jungfrau. 
And he had been at the great glaciers near Grindelwald, but 
that was connected with a sad event ; his mother had found 
her death there, and there, his Grandfather used to say, " little 
Rudy had got all his childish merriment knocked out of him." 
Betbre the child was a year old. " he laughed more than he 
cik'd,'' his mother had written ; but from the time that he 
fell into the crevasse in the ice, his disposition had entirely 
changed. The grandfather did not say much about this in 
general, but the whole hill knew the fact. 

Rudy's father had been a postilion, and the large dog who 
now shared Rudy's home had always accompanied him in his 
journeys over the Simplon down to the Lake of Geneva. Rudy's 
kindred on his father's side lived in the valley of the Rhone, 
in the Canton Valais ; his uncle was a celebrated chamois 
hunter, and a well-known Alpine guide. Rudy was not more 
than a year old when he lost his father ; and his mother was 
imxious to return with her child to her own familv in the Ber- 
er>e Oberland. Her father dwelt at the distance of a few 



74 STORIES AND TALES. 

hours' journey from Grindelwald ; he was a carver in wood, 
and he made so much by this that he was very well off. 

Carrying her infant in her arms, she set out homeward in 
the month of June, in company with two chamois hunters, over 
the Gemini to reach Grindelwald. They had accomplished 
the greater portion of the journey, had crossed the highest 
ridges to the snow-fields, and could already see her native 
valley with all its well-known scattered brown cottages ; they 
had now only the labor of going over the upper part of one 
great glacier. The snow had recently fallen, and concealed a 
crevasse not one so deep as to reach to the abyss below 
where the water foamed along, but deeper far than the height 
of any human being. The young woman who was carrying 
her infant slipped, sank in, and suddenly disappeared ; not a 
shriek, not a groan was heard nothing but the crying of a 
little child. Upwards of an hour elapsed before her two com- 
panions were able to obtain from the nearest house ropes and 
poles to assist them in extricating her ; and it was with much 
difficulty and labor that they brought up from the crevasse two 
dead bodies, as they thought. Every means of restoring ani- 
mation was employed, and they were successful in recalling 
the child to life, but not the mother ; and so the old grand- 
father received into his house, not a daughter, but a daughter's 
son the little one " who laughed more than he cried." But 
a change seemed to have come over him since he had been in 
the glacier-spalten in the cold underground ice-world, where 
the souls of the condemned are imprisoned until Doomsday, 
as the Swiss peasants assert. 

Not unlike a rushing stream, frozen and pressed into blocks 
of green crystal, lies the glacier, one great mass of ice bal- 
anced upon another ; in the depths beneath tears along the 
accumulating stream of melted ie and snow ; deep hollows, 
immense crevasses, yawn within it, A wondrous palace of 
crystal it is, and in it dwells the Ice Maiden the queen of 
the glaciers. She, the slayer, the crusher, is half the mighty 
ruler of the rivers, half a child of the air: therefore she ii 
able to soar to the highest haunts of the chamois, to the lof*-- 
iest peaks of the snow-covered hills, where the boldest moun- 
iSLineer has to cut footsteps for himself in the ice ; she sailf 



THE ICE MAIL EN. 



75 



on the slightest sprig of the pine-tree over the raging torrents 
below, and bounds lightly from one mass of ice to another^ 
with her long snow-white hair fluttering about her, and her 
bluish- green robe shining like the water in the deep Swiss lakes. 

" To crush to hold fast such power is mine ! " she 
cries ; i( yet a beautiful boy was snatched from me a boy 
whom I had kissed, but not kissed to death. He is again 
among mankind ; he tends the goats upon the mountain 
heights ; he is always climbing higher and higher still, away, 
away from other human beings, but not from me ! He is mine 
J wait for him ! ' 

And she commanded Vertigo to undertake the mission. It 
was in summer-time ; the Ice Maiden was melting in the greea 
valley where the green mint grew, and Vertigo mounted and 
dived. Vertigo has several sisters, quite a flock of them, and 
the Ice Maiden selected the strongest among the many who 
exercise their power within doors and without those who sit 
on the banisters of steep staircases and the outer rails of lofty 
towers, who bound like squirrels along the mountain ridges, 
and, springing thence, tread the air as the swimmer treads 
the water, and lure their victims onward, down to the abyss 
beneath. 

Vertigo and the Ice Maiden both grasp after mankind, as 
the polypus grasps after all that comes within its reach. Ver- 
tigo was to seize Rudy. 

"Seize him, indeed!" cried Vertigo; "I cannot do it! 
That good-for-nothing cat has taught him its art. Yon child 
of the human race possesses a power within himself which 
keeps me at a distance. I cannot reach the little urchin when 
he hangs from the branches out over the depths below, or I 
would willingly loosen his hold, and send him whirling down 
through the air. But I cannot." 

" We must seize him, though ! " said the Ice Maiden, " either 
you or I ! I will I will ! 

" No no ! " broke upon the air, like a mountain echo o/ 
the church-bells' peal ; but it was a whisper, it was a song, 
it was the liquid tones of a chorus from other spirits cf 
Nature mild, soft, and loving, the daughters of the rays 
01 the sun. They station themselves eveiy evening in a 



STORIES AND TALES. 

circle upon the mountain peaks, and spread out their 
tinted wings, which, as the sun sinks, become redder and red 
der, until the lofty Alps seem all in a blaze. Men ca r l thii 
che Alpine glow. When the sun has sunk, they retire within 
the whit 2 snow on the crests of the hills, and sleep there until 
suniise, when they come forth again. Much do they love 
flowers, butterflies, and mankind ; and among the latter they 
had taken a great fancy for little Rudy. 

" You shall not imprison him you shall not get him ! w 
they sang. 

" Greater and stronger have I seized and imprisoned," said 
tne Ice Maiden. 

Then sang the daughters of the sun of the wanderer whose 
hat the whirlwind tore from his head, and carried away in its 
stormy flight. The wind could take his cap, but not the man 
himself no, it could make him tremble with its violence, 
but it could not sweep him away. "The human race is 
stronger and more ethereal even than we are ; they alone may 
mount higher than even the sun, our parent They know the 
magic words that can rule the wind and the waves so that they 
are compelled to obey and to serve them You loosen the 
heavy oppressive weight, and they soar upward." 

Thus sang the sweet tones of the bell-like chorus. 

And every morning the sun's rays shone through the one 
little window in the grandfather's house upon the quiet child. 
The daughters of the rays of the sun kissed him they 
wished to thaw, to obliterate the ice-kiss that the queenly 
maiden of the glaciers had given him when, in his dead 
mother's lap, he lay in the deep crevasse of ice from whicfl 
almost as by a miracle he had been rescued. 

THE JOURNEY TO THE NEW HOME. 

Rudy was now eight years of age. His father's brother, 
who lived in the valley of the Rhone, on teh other side of tne 
mountain, wished to have the boy, as he could be better edu- 
cated and taught to do for himself there ; so also thought the 
grandfather, and he therefore agreed to part with him. 

The time for Rudy's departure drew nigh. There were 
many more to take leave of than only his grandfather. Firs' 
there was Ajola, the old dog. 



THE ICE MAIDEN. 

" Your father was the postilion, and I was the postilion'8 
dog," said Ajola. " We have often journeyed up and down, 
and I know both dogs and men on both sides of the moun- 
tains. It has not been my habit to speak much, but now that 
we shall have so short a time for conversation, I will say a lit- 
tle more than usual, and will relate to you something upon 
which I have ruminated a great deal. I cannot understand it, 
nor can you ; but that is of no consequence. But I have 
gathered this from it that the good things of this world are 
not dealt out equally either to dogs or to mankind ; all are no. 
born to lie in laps or to drink milk. I have never been ac- 
customed to such indulgences. But I have seen a whelp of a 
little dog travelling in the inside of a post-chaise, occupying 
a man's or a woman's seat, and the lady to whom he belonged, 
or whom he governed, carried a bottle of milk, from which 
she helped him ; she also offered him sponge-cakes, but he 
would not condescend to eat them ; he only sniffed at them, 
so she ate them herself. I was running in the sun by the side 
of the carriage, as hungry as a dog could be, but /had only 
to chew the cud of bitter reflection. Things were not so justly 
meted out as they might have been but when are they ? 
May you come to drive in carriages, and lie in Fortune's lap 
but you can't bring all this about yourself. / never could, 
either by barking or growling." 

This was Ajola's discourse ; and Rudy threw his arm? 
round his neck and kissed him on his wet mouth ; and then 
he caught up the Cat in his arms, but the animal was angry at 
this, and exclaimed, "You are getting too strong for me, but I 
will not use my claws against you. Scramble away over the 
mountains I have taught you how to do so ; never think of 
falling, but hold fast, have no fear, and you will be safe 
enoi;gh." 

And the Cat sprang down and ran off, for he did not wish 
Rudy to see how sorry he was. 

The hens hopped upon the floor ; one of them had lost her 
tail, foi a traveller, who chose to play the sportsman, had sho< 
off her tail, mistaking the poor fowl for a bird of prey. 

" Rudy is going over the hills," murmured one of the hens, 

" He is in a hurry," said the other, " and I don't like leave- 
*ak>ngs ; " and they both hopped out 



STORIES AND TALES. 

The goats also bleated their farewells, and very sorry thej 
were. 

Just at that time there were two active guides about to cross 
the mountains ; they proposed descending the other side of 
the Gemini, and Rudy was to accompany them on foot. It 
was a long and laborious journey for such a little fellow, but 
he had a good deal of strength, and had courage that was 
indomitable. 

The swallows flew a little way with him, and sang to him, 
"We and you, and you and we ! " 

The travellers' path led across the rushing Liitschine, which 
in numerous small streams falls from the dark clefts of the 
Grindelwald glaciers. The trunks of fallen trees and frag- 
ments of rock serve here as bridges. They had soon passed 
the thicket of alders, and commenced to ascend the mountain, 
close to where the glaciers had loosened themselves from the 
side of the hill ; and they went upon the glacier over the 
blocks of ice, and round them. 

Rudy crept here, and walked there ; his eyes sparkling 
with joy, as he firmly placed his iron-tipped mountain shoe 
wherever he could find footing for it. The small patches of 
black earth, which the mountain torrents had cast upon the 
glacier, imparted to it a burned appearance, but still the 
bluish-green, glass-like ice shone out visibly. They had to 
go round the little pools which were dammed up, as it were, 
amidst detached masses of ice ; and in this circuitous route 
tbey approached an immense stone, which lay rocking on the 
edge of a crevasse in the ice. The stone lost its equipoise, 
toppled over, and rolled down ; and the echo of its thundering 
fall resounded faintly from the glacier's deep abyss, far far 
beneath. 

Upward, always upward, they journeyed on ; the glaciei 
itself stretched upward, like a continued stream of masses of 
ice piled up in wild confusion, amidst bare and rugged rocks 
Rudy remembered for a moment what had been told him 
that he, with his mother, had lain buried in one of these cold, 
mysterious fissures ; but he soon threw off such gloomy 
thoughts, and only looked upon the rale as one among th 
many fables he had heard. Once or twice, when the men with 



THE ICE MAIDEN. 



79 



whom he was travelling thought that it was rather difficult foi 
so little a boy to mount up, they held out their hands to help 
him ; but he never needed any assistance, and he stood upoji 
the glacier as securely as if he had been a chamois ; tself. 

Now they came upon rocky ground, sometimes amida 
mossy stones, sometimes amidst low pine-trees, and again out 
upon the green pastures always changing, always rew. 
Around them towered lofty snow-clad mountains, those of 
which every child in the neighborhood knows the names 
Jungfrau, the Monk, and Eiger. 

Rudy had never before been so far from his home never 
before beheld the wide-spreading ocean of snow that lay with 
its immovable billows of ice, from which the wind occasionally 
swept little clouds of powdery snow, as it sweeps the scum 
from the waves of the sea. Glacier stretched close to gla- 
cier one might have said they were hand in hand ; and 
each is a crystal palace belonging to the Ice Maiden, whose 
pleasure and occupation it is to seize and imprison her victims. 

The sun was shining warmly, and the snow dazzled the 
eyes as if it had been strewn with flashing pale-blue diamond 
sparks. Innumerable insects, especially butterflies and bees, 
lay dead in masses on the snow ; they had winged their way 
too high, or else the wind had carried them upward to the 
regions, for them, of cold and death. Around Wetterhorn 
hung what might be likened to a large tuft of very fine dark 
wool, a threatening cloud ; it sank, bulging out with what it 
had concealed in itself a fohn, 1 fearfully violent in its might 
when it should break loose. 

The whole of this journey the night quarters above the 
wild track the mountain clefts where the water, during an 
^icalculably long period of time, had penetrated through the 
blocks of stone made an indelible impression upon little 
Rudy's mind. 

A forsaken stone building, beyond the sea of snow, gave 
the travellers shelter for the night. Here they found omc 
charcoal and branches of pine-trees. A fire was soon kindled, 
couches of some kind were arranged as well as they coi'h? be, 

1 Fohn, a humid south wind on the Swiss mountains and lak \ t K 
runner of a storm. Translator. 



So STORIES AND TALES. 

and the men placed themselves near the blazing fire, took 
out their tobacco, and began to drink the warm spiced bever- 
age they had prepared for themselves, nor did they forget to 
give some to Rudy. 

The conversation fell upon the mysterious beings who haunt 
the Alpine land : upon the strange gigantic sndces in the 
deep lakes the night-folks the spectre host, that carry 
sleepers off through the air to the wonderful, almojit floating 
city of Venice the wild herdsman, who drives his black 
sheep over the green pastures ; if these had not been seen, 
the sound of their bells had undoubtedly been heard, and 
the frightful noise made by the phantom herds. 

Rudy listened with intense curiosity to these superstitious 
tales, but without any fear, for that he did not know ; and 
while he listened, he fancied that he heard the uproar of the 
wild spectral herd. Yes ! It became more and more distinct , 
the men heard it too. They were awed into silence ; and as 
they hearkened to the unearthly noise, they whispered to Rudy 
that he must not sleep. 

It was a fohn that had burst forth that violent tempestu- 
ous wind which issues downward from the mountains into the 
valley beneath, and in its fury snaps large trees as if they were 
but reeds, and carries the wooden houses from one bank of a 
river to the other as we would move men on a chess-board. 

After an hour had elapsed, Rudy was told that it was all 
over, and he might now go to sleep safely ; and, weary with 
bis long walk, he did sleep, as if in duty bound to do so. 

At a very early hour in the morning, the party set off again. 
The sun that day lighted up for Rudy new mountains, new 
glaciers, and new snow-fields. They had entered the Canton 
Valais, and were upon the other side of the ridge of hills seen 
from Grindelwald, yet still far from his new home. 

Other mountain clefts, other pastures, other woods, and 
otner hilly paths unfolded themselves ; other houses, ami 
other people too, Rudy saw. But what kind of human beings 
were these ? The outcasts of fate they were, with frightful, 
disgusting, yellowish faces, and necks of which the hideous 
rtesh hung down like bags. They were the cretins poor 
diseased wretches, dragging themselves along, and looking 



THE ICE MAIDEN. Si 

mth stupid lustieless eyes upon the strangers who crossed 
their path the women even more disgusting than the mei* 
Were such the persons who surrounded his new home r 

THE UNCLE. 

In his uncle's house, when Rudy arrived there, he saw, and 
he thanked God for it, people such as he had been accus- 
tomed to see. There was only one cretin there, a poor idiotic 
lad, one of those unfortunate beings who, in their poverty 
in fact, in their utter destitution go by turns to different 
families and remain a month or two in each house. Poor Sa- 
perli happened to be in his uncle's house when Rudy anived. 

The uncle was a bold and experienced hunter, and was also 
a cooper by trade ; his wife a lively little woman, with a face 
something like that of a bird, eyes like those of an eagle, and 
a long skinny throat. 

Everything was new to Rudy the dress, customs, employ- 
ments even the language itself ; but his childish ear would 
soon learn to understand that. The contrast between his 
home at his grandfather's and his uncle's abode was very fa- 
vorable to the latter. The house was larger ; the walls were 
adorned by horns of the chamois and brightly-polished guns ; 
a painting of the Virgin Mary hung over the door, and fresh 
Alpine roses, and a lamp that was kept always burning, were 
placed before it. 

His uncle, as has been told, was one of the most renowned 
chamois hunters of the district, and was also one of the best 
and most experienced of the guides. 

Rudy became the pet of the house ; but there was another 
pet as well a blind, lazy old hound, who could no longer 
be of any use ; but he had been useful, and the worth of the 
aninm l in his earlier days was remembered, and he therefore 
now lived as one of the family, and had every comfort. Rudjf 
patted the dog, but the animal did not like strangers, and as 
/et Rudy was a stranger ; but he soon won every heart, and 
became as one of themselves. 

<l Things don't go so badly in Canton Valais," said his 
Uncle. " We have plenty of chamois ; they do not die off so 
fast as t.he wild he-goats j matters arc much better nowadays 

6 



82 STORIES AND TALES. 

than in old times, although they are so bepraised. A hole if 
burst in the bag, and we have a current of air now in our con> 

fined valley. Something better always starts up when anti- 
quated things are done away with." 

The uncle became quite chatty, and discoursed to the boy 
of the events of his own boyhood and those of his father, 
Valais was then, as he called it, only a receptacle fcr 
sick people miserable cretins ; " but the French soldiers 
came, and they made capital doctors ; they soon killed the 
disease, and the patients with it. They know how to stiike 
aye, how to strike in many ways and the girls could smite 
too ! " and thereupon the uncle nodded to his wife, who was 
of French descent, and laughed. " The French could split 
solid stones if they chose. It was they who cut out of the 
rocks the road over the Simplon yes, cut such a road that 
I could say to a child of three years of age, Go down to 
Italy ! You have but to keep to the high-road, and you find 
yourself there." The good man then sang a French chanson^ 
and wound up by shouting a hurra ! ' ' for Napoleon Bonaparte. 

It was the first time that Rudy had ever heard of France, 
and he was interested in hearing of it, especially Lyons, that 
great city on the river Rhone, where his uncle had been. 

The uncle prophesied that Rudy would become, in a few 
years, a smart chamois hunter, as he had quite a talent for it. 
rle taught the boy to hold, load, and fire a gmi ; he took him 
up with him, in the hunting season, among the hills, and made 
him drink of the warm chamois' blood to ward off giddiness 
from the hunter ; he taught him to know the time when, upon 
the different sides of the mountains, avalanches were about to 
fall, at mid-day or in the evening, whenever the sun's rays 
took effect ; he taught him to notice the movements of the 
chamois, and learn their spring, so that he might alight on his 
feet and stand firmly ; and told him that if on the firs'ares of 
the rock there was no footing, he must support himself by his 
jlbows. and exert the muscles of his thighs and the calves of 
his legs to hold on fast. Even the neck could be made of 
ase, if necessary. 

The chamois are cunning, and place outposts on the watch 
but thi hunter must be more cunning, and scent them out 



THE ICE MAIDEN. 83 

Sometimes he might cheat them by hanging up his hat and 
coat on an Alpine staff, and the chamois would mistake the 
coat for the man. This trick the uncle played one day when 
he was out hunting with Rudy. 

The mountain pass was narrow; indeed, there was scarcely 
i path at all, scarcely more than a slight cornice close to th-s 
yawning abyss. The snow that lay there was partially thawed, 
and the stones crumbled away whenever they were trod on. 
So the uncle laid himself down his full length, and crept for- 
ward. Every fragment of stone that broke off, fell, rolling 
and knocking from one side of the rocky wall to another, 
until it sank to rest in the dark depths below. About a hun- 
dred paces behind his uncle stood Rudy, upon the verge of 
the last point of solid rock, and as he stood, he saw careering 
through the air, and hovering just over his uncle, an immense 
lammergeier, which, with the tremendous stroke of its wing, 
would speedily cast the creeping worm into the abyss beneath, 
there to prey upon his carcase. 

The uncle had eyes for nothing but the chamois, which, with 
its young kid, had appeared on the other side of the crevasse. 
Rudy was watching the bird ; well did he know what was its 
aim, and therefore he kept his hand on the gun to fire the mo- 
ment it might be necessary. Just then the chamois made a 
bound upward ; Ruay's uncle fired, and the animal was hit 
tv the deadly bullet, but the kid escaped as cleverly as if it 
had had a long life's experience in danger and flight. The 
enoimous bird, frightened by the loud report, wheeled off in 
another direction ; and the uncle was freed from a danger of 
which he was quite unconscious until he was told of it by 
Rudy. 

As in high good-humor they were wending their way home- 
waid, and the uncle was humming an air he remembered from 
his childish days, they suddenly heard a peculiar noise > which 
sremed to come from no great distance. They looked round 
o \ both sides they looked upward ; and there, in the 
heights above, on the sloping verge of the mountain, the 
titavy covering of snow was lifted up, and it heaved as a sheet 
,{ linen stretched out heaves when Lie wind creeps snder it 
The iofty mass cracked a r .-f it had been a marble slab it 



84 STORSES AND TALES. 

broke, and, resolving itself into a foaming cataract, cam* 

rushing down with a rumbling noise like that of distant 
thunder. It was an avalanche that had fallen, not indeed 
over Rudy and his uncle, but near them all too near ! 

K Hold fast, Rudy hold fast with all your might ! " cried 
his uncle. 

And Rudy threw his arms around the trunk of a tree thr>l 
was close by, while his uncle climbed above him and held fast 
to the brandies of the tree. The avalanche rolled past at 
a little distance from them, but the gust of wind that swept 
like the tail of a hurricane after it, rattled around the trees 
and bushes, snapped them asunder as if they had been but 
dry rushes, and cast them down in all directions. Rudy was 
dashed to the ground, for the trunk of the tree to which 
he had clung was thus overthrown ; the upper part was flung 
to a great distance. There, amidst the shattered branches, 
lay his poor uncle with his skull fractured ! His hand was 
still warm, but it would have been impossible to recognize his 
face. Rudy stood pale and trembling ; it was the first shock 
in his young life the first moment he had ever felt terror. 

Late in the evening he reached his home with the fatal 
tidings his home which was now to be the abode of sorrow. 
The bereaved wife stood like a statue she did not utter a 
word she did not shed a tear ; and it was not until the 
corpse was brought in that her grief found its natural vent 
The poor cretin stole away to his bed, and nothing was seen 
of him during the whole of the next day ; toward evening he 
came to Rudy. 

" Will you write a letter for me ? ' : ' he asked. " Saperii 
cannot write Saperii can only go down to the post-office 
with the letter." 

u A lettei for you ? " exclaimed Rudy ; " and to whom ? r 

* Tc our Lord Christ ! " 

" Whom do you mean ? * 

And the half-idiot, as the cretin was called, looked with a 
most touching expression at Rudy, clasped his hands, and said 
solemnly and reverentially, 

"Jesus Christ ! Saperii would send Him a letter to praj 
of Him that Saperii may lie dead, and not the good mastet 
Df the house here." 



THE ICE MAIDEtf. 85 

And Rudy took his hand and wrung it. " That letter would 
Dt reach up vender that letter would not restore to us him 
*e have lost.' 

But Rudy found it very difficult to convince Saperli of the 
impossibility of his wishes. 

" Now you must be the support of the house," said his aim! 
to him ; and Rudy became such. 

BABETTE. 

Who is the best marksman in the Canton Valais ? The 
chamois well knew. "Save yourselves from Rudy!' they 
might have said. And " who is the handsomest marksman ? '' 
"O! it is Rudy!' said the girls. But they did not add, 
" Save yourselves from Rudy ; " neither did the sober mothers 
say so, for he bowed as politely to them as to the young girls. 
He was so brave and so joyous, his cheeks so brown, his teeth 
so white, his dark eyes so sparkling. A handsome young man 
he was, and only twenty years of age. The most ice-chill 
water never seemed too cold for him when he was swimming 
in fact he was like a fish in the water ; he could climb bet- 
ter than any one else ; he could also cling fast, like a snail, to 
the wall of rock. There were good muscles and sinews in 
nim ; this was quite evident whenever he made a spring. He 
had learned first from the cat how to spring, and from the 
chamois afterward. Rudy had the reputation of being the 
best guide on the mountain, and he could have made a great 
deal of money by this occupation. His uncle had also 
taught him the cooper's trade, but he had no inclination fcr 
that. He cared for nothing but chamois hunting ; in this he 
ielighted, and // also brought in money. Rudy would be an 
excellent match, it was said, if he only did no< look too high. 
He was such a good dancer that the girls who were his part 
tiers often dreamt of him, and more than one let her thoughts 
dwell on him even after she awoke. 

" He kissed me in the dance ! " said Annette, the school- 
master's daughter, to her dearest friend ; but she should not 
lave said this even to her dearest friend. Such secrets are 
*eldom kept : like sand in a bag that has holes, they ooze 
XU. Therefore, however well behaved Rudy might be, it was 



86 STORIES AND TALES. 

soon spread about that he kissed in the dance ; and yet hi 
had never kissed her whom he would have liked to kiss. 

" Take care of him ! ' said an old hunter ; " he has kissed 
Annette. He has begun with A, and he will kiss thiough the 
whole alphabet." 

A kiss in the dance was all that the gossips could find to 
bring against Rudy ; but he certainly had kissed Annette, and 
yet she was not the flower of his heart. 

Below at Bex, amidst the great walnut-trees, close to a 
small rushing mountain stream, lived the rich miller. His 
dwelling-house was a large building of three stories high, with 
small turrets ; its roof was composed of shavings of wood 
covered with tinned iron plates, which shone in sunshine and 
moonshine ; on the highest turret was a vane, a glittering 
arrow passed through an apple, in allusion to Tell's celebrated 
arrow-shot. The mill was a conspicuous object, and permitted 
itself to be sketched or written about ; but the miller's daugh- 
ter did not permit herself to be described in writing or to be 
sketched so at least Rudy would have said, And yet her 
image was engraved on his heart ; both her eyes blazed in on 
it, so that it was quite in flames. The fire had, like other 
fires, come on suddenly ; and the strangest part of it was, that 
the miller's daughter, the charming Babette, was quite igno- 
rant of it, for she and Rudy had never so much as spoken two 
words to each other. 

The miller was rich, and, on account of his wealth, Babette 
was rather high to aspire to. " But nothing is so high," said 
Poidy to himself, " that one may not aspire to it. One must 
climb perseveringly, and if one has confidence one does not 
fall." He had received this teaching in his early home. 

It so happened that Rudy had some business to transact at 
Ilex. It was a long journey to that place, for there was then 
.o railroad. From the glaciers of the Rhone, immediately at 
the foot of the Simplon, among many and often shifting moun- 
tain peaks, stretches the broad valley of the Canton Valais, 
with its mighty river, the Rhone, whose waters are often so 
swollen as to overflow its banks, inundating fields and roads* 
and destroying all. Between the towns of Sion and St. Mau 

> O 

rice tte valley takes a tarn, bending like an elbow, and below 



THE ICE MAIDEN. 87 

St. Maurice becomes so narrow that there is only space fot 
the bed of the river and the confined carriage-road. An old 
tower, like the guardian of the Canton Valais, which end? 
here, stands on the side of the mountain, and commands a 
view over the stone bridge to the custom-house on the other 
side, where the Canton Vaud commences ; and nearest of the 
not very distant towns lies Bex. In this part, at every step 
forward, are displayed increased fruitfulness and abundance ; 
one enters, as it were, a grove of chestnut and walnut-trees, 
Here and there peep forth cypresses and pomegranates. It is 
almost as warm there as in Italy, 

Rudy reached Bex, got through his business, and looked 
about him ; but not a soul (putting Babette out of the ques- 
tion) belonging to the mill did he see. This was not what he 
wanted. 

Evening came on ; the air was filled with the perfume of 
the v;:ld thyme and the blossoming lime-trees ; there lay what 
seemed a shining sky-blue veil over the wooded green hills ; 
a stillness reigned around not the stillness of sleep, not the 
stillness of death no, it was as if all nature was holding its 
breath, in order that its image might be photographed upon 
the blue surface of the heavens above. Here and there 
amidst the trees stood poles, or posts, which conveyed the 
wires of the telegraph along the silent valley ; close against 
one of these leaned an object, so motionless that one might 
have thought it was the decayed trunk of a tree, but it was 
Rudy, who was standing there as still as was all around him 
at that moment. He was not sleeping, neither was he dead ; 
but, as through the wires of the telegraph there are often 
transmitted the great events of the world, and matters of the 
utmost importance to individuals, without the wires, by the 
slightest tremor or the faintest tone, betraying them, so .nere 
passed through Rudy's mind anxious overwhelming thoughts, 
fraught with the happiness of his future life, and constituting, 
from this time forth, his one unchanging aim. His eyes were 
foed on one point before him, and that was a light in the par- 
tor of the miller's house, where Babette resided. Rudy stood 
BO sti!4 that one might have thought he was on the watch to 
nre at a chamois ; but he was himself at that moment like a 



STORIES AND TALES. 

mind became so full of old recollections that for a moment he 
almost forgot Babette. 

He was again traversing the same road where, as a little 
boy, he had stood along with other children to sell then 
carved wooden toy houses. Yonder, above the pine-trees, still 
stood his grandfather's house, but strangers dwelt there rio\v, 
The children came running after him, as formerly ; they 
wished to sell their little wares. One of them offered him an 
Alpine rose ; Rudy took it as a good omen, and thought of 
Babette. He had soon crossed the bridge where the two 
Liitschines unite, and reached the smiling country where the 
walnut and other embowering trees afford grateful shade. He 
soon perceived waving flags, and beheld the white cross on 
the red ground the standard of the Swiss as of the Danes 
and before him lay Interlaken. 

Rudy thought it was certainly a splendid town a Swiss 
town in its holiday dress. It was not, like other market towns, 
a heap of heavy stone houses, stiff, foreign-looking, and aiming 
at grandeur ; no ! it looked as if the wooden houses from the 
hills above had taken a start into the green valley beneath, 
with its clear stream whose waters rushed swiftly as an arrow, 
and had ranged themselves into rows somewhat uneven, it 
is true to form the street. And that prettiest of all, the 
street which had been built since Rudy, as a little boy, had 
last been there that seemed to be composed of all the nicest 
wooden houses his grandfather had cut out, and with which 
he cupboard at home had been filled. These seemed to 
have transplanted themselves there, and to have grown in size, 
as the old chestnut-trees had done. 

Every house almost was a hotel, as it was called, with 
carved wooden work round the windows and baiconies, with 
smart-looking roofs, and before each house a flower garden, 
oetween it and the wide macadamized high-road. Near these 
houses, but only on one side of the road, stood some other 
houses : had they formed a double row, they would have con- 
cealed the fresh green meadow, where wandered the cowg 
with bells that rang as among the high Alpine pastures. The 
valley was encircled by lofty hills, which, about the centre 
seemed to retire a little to one side, so as to render visib'a 



THE JCE MAIDEN. 

that g ittering snow-white Jungfrau, the most beautiful in forra 
of all the mountains of Switzerland. 

What a number of gayly dressed gentlemen and ladies from 
loreign lands what crowds of Swiss from the adjacent can- 
tons ! The candidates for the prizes carried the numbers of 
their shots in a garland round their hats. There was music 
of all kinds singing, hand-organs, and wind instruments, 
shouting and racket. The houses and bridges were adorned 
with verses and emblems. Flags and banners waved ; the 
firing of gun after gun was heard, and that was the best music 
to Rudy's ears. Amidst all this excitement he almost forgot 
Babette, for whose sake only he had gone there. 

Crowds were thronging to the target-shooting. Rudy was 
soon among them, and he was always the luckiest the best 
shot for he always struck the bull's-eye. 

"Who is that young stranger that capital marksman?" 
was asked around. " He speaks the French language as the) 
i^peak it in the Canton Valais ; he also expresses himself 
fluently in our German," said several people. 

" When a child he lived here in the valley, near Grindelwald," 
replied some one. 

The youth was full of life ; his eyes sparkled, his aim was 
steady, his arm sure, and therefore his shots always told. 
Good fortune bestows courage, and Rudy had always courage. 
He had soon a whole circle of friends round him. Every o^e 
noticed him ; in short, he became the observed of all observ- 
ers. Babette had almost vanished from his thoughts. Just 
then a heavy hand was laid upon his shoulder, and a rough 
voice accosted him in the French language with 

" You are from the Canton Valais ? " 

Rudy turned round, and beheld a red jolly countenance 
and a stout person. It was the rich miller from Bex ; his 
broad bulk hid the slender lovely Babette, who, however, soon 
eame forward with her dark, bright eyes. The rich miller was 
very proud that it was a huntsman from his own canton that 
had been declared the best shot, and was so much distin- 
guished and so much praised. Rudy was truly the child of 
good fortune ; what he had travelled so far to look ior, but 
had since hi? arrival nearly forgotten, now sought 



9O STORIES AND TALES, 

mind became so full of old recollections that for a moment he 
almost forgot Babette. 

He was again traversing the same road where, as a little 
boy, he had stood along with other children to sell then 
carved wooden toy houses. Yonder, above the pine-trees, still 
stood his grandfather's house, but strangers dwelt there now, 
The children came running after him, as formerly ; they 
wished to sell their little wares. One of them offered him an 
Alpine rose ; Rudy took it as a good omen, and thought of 
Babette. He had soon crossed the bridge where the two 
Liitschines unite, and reached the smiling country where the 
walnut and other embowering trees afford grateful shade. He 
soon perceived waving flags, and beheld the white cross on 
the red ground the standard of the Swiss as of the Danes 
and before him lay Interlaken. 

Rudy thought it was certainly a splendid town a Swiss 
town in its holiday dress. It was not, like other market towns, 
a heap of heavy stone houses, stiff, foreign-looking, and aiming 
at grandeur ; no ! it looked as if the wooden houses from the 
hills above had taken a start into the green valley beneath, 
with its clear stream whose waters rushed swiftly as an arrow, 
and had ranged themselves into rows somewhat uneven, it 
is true to form trie street. And that prettiest of all, the 
street which had been built since Rudy, as a little boy, had 
last been there that seemed to be composed of all the nicest 
wooden houses his grandfather had cut out, and with which 
he cupboard at home had been filled. These seemed to 
have transplanted themselves there, and to have grown in size, 
as the old chestnut-trees had done. 

Every house almost was a hotel, as it was called, with 
carved wooden work round the windows and baiconies, with 
smart-looking roofs, and before each house a flower garden, 
oetween it and the wide macadamized high-road. Near these 
houses, but only on one side of the road, stood some other 
houses : had thev formed a double row, thev would have con- 

* * 

cealed the fresh green meadow, where wandered the cowa 
with bells that rang as among the high Alpine pastures. The 
valley was encircled by lofty hills, which, about the centre 
seemed to retire a little to one side, so as to render visiKa 



THE JCE MAIDEN-. 

that g ittering SHDW- white Jungfrau, the most beautiful in forra 
of all the mountains of Switzerland. 

What a number of gayly dressed gentlemen and ladies from 
loreign lands what crowds of Swiss from the adjacent can- 
tons ! The candidates for the prizes carried the numbers of 
their shots in a garland round their hats. There was music 
of all kinds singing, hand-organs, and wind instruments, 
shouting and racket. The houses and bridges were adorned 
with verses and emblems. Flags and banners waved ; the 
firing of gun after gun was heard, and that was the best music 
to Rudy's ears. Amidst all this excitement he almost forgot 
Babette, for whose sake only he had gone there. 

Crowds were thronging to the target-shooting. Rudy was 
soon among them, and he was always the luckiest the best 
shot for he always struck the bull's-eye. 

"Who is that young stranger that capital marksman?' 
was asked around. " He speaks the French language as the) 
upeak it in the Canton Valais ; he also expresses himself 
fluently in our German," said several people. 

" When a child he lived here in the valley, near Grindelwald," 
replied some one. 

The youth was full of life ; his eyes sparkled, his aim was 
steady, his arm sure, and therefore his shots always told. 
Good fortune bestows courage, and Rudy had always courage. 
He had soon a whole circle of friends round him. Every o^e 
noticed him ; in short, he became the observed of all observ- 
ers. Babette had almost vanished from his thoughts. Just 
then a heavy hand was laid upon his shoulder, and a rough 
voice accosted him in the French language with 

" You are from the Canton Valais ? ' 

Rudy turned round, and beheld a red jolly countenance 
and a stout person. It was the rich miller from Bex ; his 
broad bulk hid the slender lovely Babette, who, however, soon 
eame forward with her dark, bright eyes. The rich miller was 
very proud that it was a huntsman from his own canton that 
had been declared the best shot, and was so much distin- 
guished and so much praised. Rudy was truly the child of 
good fortune ; what he had travelled so far to look ior, bul 
had since his arrival nearly forgotten, now sought 



92 S 7 OKIES AND TALES. 

When at a distance from home one meets persons 
thence, acquaintance is speedily made, and people speak as 
if they knew each other. Rudy held the first place at the 
shooting matches, as the miller held the first place at Bex, 
on account of his money and his mill. So the two men shook 
hands, although they had never met before ; Babette, too, held 
out her hand frankly to Rudy, and he pressed it warmly, and 
gazed with such admiration at her that she became scarlet. 

The miller talked of the long journey they had made, ard 
the numerous large towns they had seen, and how they had 
travelled both by steam and by post. 

" I came the shorter way," said Rudy ; " I went over the 
mountains. There is no road so high that one cannot venture 
to take it." 

" Aye, at the risk of breaking one's neck ! " replied the Mil- 
ler ; " and you look just like one who will some day or other 
break his neck you are so daring ! ' 

" One does not fall unless one has the fear of doing so," 
said Rudy. 

And the miller's relations at Interlaken, with whom he and 
Babette were staying, invited Rudy to visit them, since he came 
from the same canton as did their kindred. It was a pleasant 
invitation for Rudy. Luck was with him, as it always is with 
those who depend upon themselves, and remember that "our 
Lord bestows nuts upon us, but He does not crack them for 
us!" 

And Rudy sat, almost like one of the family, amongst the 
miller's relations, and a toast was drunk in honor of the best 
shot, to which Rudy returned thanks, after clinking glasses 
with Babette. 

in the evening the whole party took a walk on the pretty 
avenue past rhe gay looking hotels under the walnut-trees ; 
and there was such a crowd, and so much pushing, that Rudy 
had to offer his arm to Babette. He told her how happy he 
was to have met people from the Canton Vaud, for Vaud and 
Yalais were close neighbors. He spoke so cordially that Ba- 
bette (ould not resist slightly squeezing his hand. They 
seemed almost like old acquaintances, and she was very livel* 
- that pretty little girl. Rudy was much amused at her re* 



THE ICE MAIDEN. 



93 



marks on what was absurd and over- fine in the dress of tb* 

foreign ladies, and the affectation of some of them ; but she 
did not wish to ridicule them, for there might be some excel- 
lent people among them yes, nice amiable people, Babette 
was sure of that, for she had a godmother who was a very su- 
perior English lady. Eighteen years before, when Babette 
was christened, that lady was at Bex ; she had given Babette 
the valuable brooch she wore. Her godmother had written 
to her twice, and this year they were to have met her at Inter- 
laken, whither she was coming with her daughters ; they were 
old maids, going on for thirty, said Babette she herself WAS 
only eighteen. 

The tongue in her pretty little mouth was not still for a mo- 
ment, and all that she said appeared to Rudy as matters of 
the greatest importance. And he told her what he had to tell 
told her how he had been to Bex, how well he knew the 
mill, and how often he had seen her, though, of course, she 
had never remarked him. He said he had been more dis- 
tressed than he could tell, when he found that she and hei 
father were away, far away ; but still not too far to prevent 
one from scrambling over the wall that made the road so 
long. 

He said all this, and he said a great deal more ; he told 
her how much she occupied his thoughts, and that it was on 
her account, and not for the sake of the shooting matches, that 
he had come to Interlaken. 

Babette became very silent it was almost too much, all 
that he confided to her. 

As they walked on, the sun sank behind the lofty heights, 
and the Jungfrau stood in strong relief, clothed in a splendor 
and brilliancy reflected by the green woods of the surround- 
ing hills. Every one stood still and gazed at it ; Rudy and 
Babette also stood and looked at the magnificent scene. 

" Nothing can be more beautiful than this ! " said Babette. 

* Nothing ! ' ' said Rudy, with his eyes fixed upon Babette, 

" To-morrow I must go," he added a little after. 

" Come and visit us at Bex," whispered Babette ; " rot 
father will be sr glad to see you." 



$4 STORIES AND TALES. 

ON THE WAY HOME. 

O ! how much had not Rudy to carry next day when 
started on his journey homewards over the mountains ! He 
had actually to carry two handsome guns, three silver goblets, 
and a silver coffee-pot the latter would be of use when he 
set up a house. But these valuables were not the weightiest 
load he had to bear ; a still weightier load he had to carry 
or did it carry him? over the high, high hills. 

The road was rough ; the weather was dismal, gloomy, and 
rainy ; the clouds hung like a mourning veil over the summits 
of the mountains, and shrouded their shining peaks. From 
the woods had resounded the last stroke of the axe, and down 
the side of the hill rolled the trunks of the trees ; they looked 
like sticks from the vast heights above, but nearer they were 
seen to be like the thick masts of ships. The river murmured 
with its monotonous sound, the wind whistled, the clouds be- 
gan to sail hurriedly along. 

Close by Rudy suddenly appeared a young girl ; he had 
not observed her until she was quite near him. She also was 
going to cross the mountain. Her eyes had an extraordinary 
power ; they seemed to have a spell in them they were so 
clear, so deep, so unfathomable. 

" Have you a lover ? ' asked Rudy. All his thoughts were 
filled with love. 

" I have none," she replied with a laugh, but it seemed as 
if she did not speak the truth. " Let us not go the long way 
round. We must keep to the left ; it is shorter." 

'Yes to fall into some crevasse," said Rudy. "You 
should know the paths better if you take upon yourself to be 
a guide." 

" I know the way well," she rejoined, " and I have my wits 
about me. Your thoughts are down yonder in the valley. 
Up here one should think of the Ice Maiden. Mankind say 
that she is not friendly to their race." 

" I am not in the least afraid of her," said Rudy. " She 
could not keep me when I was a child ; she shall not catch 
nie now I am a grown-up man." 

It became very dark, the rain fell, and it began to snow 
neavily ; it dazzled the eyes, and blinded them. 



THE ICE MAIDEN. 



95 



" Give me your hand, and I will help you to mount up 
ward," said the girl, as she touched him with her ice-cold fin- 
gers. 

" You help me ! ' cried Rudy. " I do not yet require a 
woman's help in climbing ; " and he walked on more briskl} 
away from her. The snow-storm thickened like a curtain 
around him, the wind moaned, and behind him he heard the 
girl laughing and singing. It sounded so strangely. It was 
surely Glamourie, she surely, one of the attendants of the Ice 
Maiden ; Rudy had heard of such things when, as a little boy, 
he had spent a night on the mountains, on his journey over 
tfoe hills. 

The snow fell more thickly, the clouds lay below him. He 
looked back ; there was no one to be seen, but he heard 
laughter and jeering, and it did not seem to come from a hu- 
man being. 

When at length Rudy had reached the highest part of the 
mountain, where the path led down to the valley of the 
Rhone, he perceived on the pale blue of the horizon, in the 
direction of Chamouny, two glittering stars. They shone so 
brightly ; and he thought of Babette, of himself, and of hi 
happiness, and became warm with these thoughts. 

THE VISIT TO THE MILL. 

" You have really brought costly things home," said his old 
foster-mother, and her strange, eagle eyes sparkled, while she 
worked her thin, wrinkled neck even more quickly than usual. 
" You carry good luck with you, Rudy. I must kiss you, my 
dear boy." 

Rudy allowed himself to be kissed, but it was evident by 
fcis countenance that he did not relish this domestic greeting. 

" How handsome you are, Rudy ! " exclaimed the old woman. 

"O ! don't flatter me," replied Rudy, laughing ; but he was 
pleased at the compliment nevertheless. 

" I repeat it," said the old woman, " and good fortune smiles 
on you." 

"Yes, I believe you are right there," he said, while his 
thoughts strayed to Babette. 

Never before hid he longed so much for the deep valley. 



STORIES AND TALES. 

"They must have come back," he said to himself; "it if 
now more than two days over the time they fixed for their 
return. I must go to Bex." 

And to Bex he went. The miller and his daughter were at 
home ; he was well received, and many greetings weie given 
to him from the family at Interlaken. Babette did not speak 
much ; she had become very silent. But her eyes spoke, and 
that was quite enough for Rudy. The miller, who generally 
had enough to say, and was accustomed to joke and have all 
his jokes laughed at, for he was the rich miller, seemed to 
prefer listening to Rudy's stirring adventures, and hearing 
him tell of all the difficulties and dangers that the chamois 
hunter had to encounter on the mountain heights how he 
had to crawl along the unsafe snowy cornice-work on the 
edges of the hills, which was attached to the rocks by the 
force of the wind and weather, and tread the frail bridges 
the snow-storm had cast over many a deep abyss. 

Rudy spoke with much spirit, and his eyes sparkled while 
he described the life of a hunter, the cunning of the chamois 
and the wonderful springs they took, the mighty form, and the 
rolling avalanche. He observed that, at every new descrip- 
tion, he won more and more upon the miller, and that the 
lacter was particularly interested in his account of the lam- 
mergeier and the bold royal eagle. 

Not far from Bex, in the Canton Valais, there was an eagle's 
nest, built most ingeniously under a projecting platform of 
rock, on the margin of the hill ; there was a young one in it, 
which no one could take. An Englishman had, a few days 
before, offered Rudy a large handful of gold if he would 
bring him the young eagle alive. 

"But there are limits even to the most reckless daring," 
gaid Rudy. " The young eagle up there is not to be got at t 
it would be madness to make the attempt." 

And the wine circulated fast, and the conversation flowed 
on fast, and Rudy thought the evening was much too short, 
although it was past midnight when he left the miller's house 
after this his first visit. 

The lights shone for a short time through the windows, 
and were reflected on the reen branches of the trees, while 



THE ICE MAIDEN. 97 

through the skylight on the root, which was open, crept out 
the parlor Cat, and met in the water conduit on the roof the 
kitchen Cat. 

" Don't you see that there is something new going on here ? " 
said the parlor Cat. " There is secret love-making in the 
ho jse. The father knows nothing of it yet. Rudy and Ba- 
bette have been all the evening treading on each other's toes 
under the table ; they trod on me twice, but I did not mew, 
for that wo-uld have aroused suspicion." 

" Well / would have done it," said the kitchen Cat. 

" What might suit the kitchen would not do in the parlor/ 1 
replied the parlor Cat. " I should like very much to kno'? 
what the miller will say when he hears of this engagement." 

Yes, indeed what would the miller say ? That Rudy also 
was anxious to know. He could not bring himself to wail 
long. Therefore, before many days had passed, when the 
mnibus rolled over the bridge between the Cantons Valais 
and Vaud, Rudy sat in it, with plenty of confidence as usual, 
and pleasant thoughts of the favorable answer he expected 
that evening. 

And when the evening had come, and the omnibus wag 
returning, Rudy also sat in it, going homewards. But, at the 
miller's, the parlor Cat jumped out again. 

"Look here, you from the kitchen the miller krcws 
everything now. There was a strange end to the affair. 
Rudy came here toward the afternoon, and he and Babette 
had a great deal to whisper about ; they stood on the path a 
Httle belo\~ the miller's room. I lay at their feet, but the) 
had neither eyes nor thoughts for me. 

" ' I will go straight to your father/ said Rudy ; ' my propo- 
sal is honest and honorable.' 

" ' Shall I go with you/ said Babette, 'that I may give you 
courage ? ' 

" ' I have plenty of courage/ replied Rudy, ' but if you are 
with me, he must put some control upon himself, whether ha 
tikes '"he matter or not.' 

"So they went in. Rudy trod heavily on my tail he ig 
very clumsy I mewed, but neither he nor Babette had ears 

r OT me. They opened the door, z.nd entered tagr ther, and I 
* 



OS STORIES AND TALES. 

+ 

with them, but I sprang up to the back of a chair. I could 
scarcely hear what Rudy said, but I heard how the master 
blazed forth : it was a regular turning him out of his doors up 
to the mountains and the chamois. Rudy might look after 
these, but not after our little Babette." 

" But what did they say ? " asked the kitchen Cat. 

" Say ! they said all that is generally said under such cir- 
cumstances when people go a-wooing. ' I love her, and she 
loves me ; and when there is milk in the can for one, there is 
milk in the can for two.' 

" ' But she is far above you/ said the Miller ; ' she has lot:t 
of gold, and you have none. Don't you see that you cannot 
aspire to her ? ' 

" l There is nothing or no one so high that one may not 
reach if one is only determined to do so,' said Rudy, getting 
angry. 

" ' But you said not long since that you could not reach the 
young eagle in its nest. Babette is a still higher and more 
difficult prize for you to take.' 

" ' I will take them both,' replied Rudy. 

" * Very well ! I will give her to you when you bring me 
the young eaglet alive,' said the Miller, and he laughed until 
the tears stood in his eyes. ' But now, thank you for your 
visit, Rudy ! If you come again to-morrow, you will find no 
one at home. Farewell, Rudy ! ' 

" And Babette also said farewell, in as timid and pitiable a 
voice as that of a little kitten which cannot see its mother." 

"'A promise is a promise, and a man is a mar, !' said 
Rudy. ' Do not weep, Babette ; I shall bring the young 
tagle.' 

" ' You will break your neck, I hope ! ' exclaimed the 
Miller; 'then we shall be free of this bad job.' I call that 
sending him off with a flea in his ear ! Now Rudy is gone, 
and Babette sits and cries, but the miller sings German songs 
which he learnt in his journey. I shall net distress myself 
about the matter ; it would do no good." 

" But it is all very curious," said ths kitchen Cat. 



THE ICE MAIDEN. 



THE EAGLE ; S NEST. 

From the mountain path came the sound of a person wbi 
Ing in a strain so lively that it betokened good-humor and 
undaunted courage. The whistler was Rudy ; he was goir. 
to his friend Vesinand. 

" You must help me ! We shall take Ragli with us. 1 
must carry off the young eagle up yonder under the shelving 
rock 1 " 

"Had you not better try first to take down the moon? 
That would be about as hopeful an undertaking," said Vesi- 
nand. " You are in great spirits, I see." 

" Yes, for I am thinking of my wedding. But now, to speak 
seriously, you shall know how matters stand with me." 

And Vesinand and Ragli were soon made acquainted with 
what Rudy wished. 

" You are a daring fellow," they said, " but you won't suc- 
ceed you will break your neck." 

" One does not fall if one has no fear ! " said Rudy. 

About midnight they set out with alpenstocks, ladders, and 
ropes. The road lay through copsewood and brushwood, 
over rolling stones upward, always upward, upward in 
the dark and gloomy night. The waters roared below, the 
waters murmured above, humid clouds swept heavily along. 
The hunters reached at length the precipitous ridge of rock 
It became even darker here, for the walls of rock almost met, 
and light penetrated only a little way down from the open 
space above. Close by, under them, was a deep abyss, with 
its hoarse-sounding, raging water. 

They sat all three quite still. They had to await the dawn 
of day, when the parent eagle should fly out ; then only could 
they fire if they had any hope to capture the young one, 
Rudy sat as still as if he had been a portion of the rock on 
which he sat. He held his gun ready to fire ; his eyes were 
steadily fixed on the highest part of the cleft, under a project- 
ing rock of which the eagle's nest was concealed. The three 
hunters had long to wait. 

At length, high above them was heard a crashing, whirring 
noise j the air was darkened by a large object soaring in it 



IOO STORIES AND TALES. 

Two guns were ready to aim at the enormous eagle the 
ment it flew fir~-n its nest. A shot was fired ; for an instant 
the outspread wings fluttered, and then the bird began to sink 
slowly, and it seemed as if with its size and the stretch of !ta 
wings it would fttl the whole chasm, and in its fall drag tlis 
hunters down with it. The eagle disappeared in ^he abyss 
Ixtlow ; the cracking of the trees and bushes was hearu, fthict 
were snapped and crushed in the fall of the stupendous bird. 

And now commenced the business that had brought the 
h.mters there. Three of the longest ladders were tied se- 
curely together. They were intended to reach the outermost 
and last stepping-place on the margin of the abyss ; but they 
did not reach so high up, and smooth as a well-built wall was 
the perpendicular rocky ascent a good way higher up, where 
the nest was hidden under the shelter cf the uppermost pro- 
jecting portion of rock. After some consultation the young 
>iien came to the conclusion, that there was nothing better to 
be done than to hoist far up two more ladders tied together, 
and then to attach these to the three which had already been 
raised. With immense difficulty they pushed the two ladders 
up, and the ropes were made fast ; the ladders shot out from 
over the rock, and hung there swaying in the air above the 
unfathomable depth beneath. Rudy had placed himself already 
on the lowest step. It was an ice-cold morning ; the mist was 
rising heavily from the dark chasm below. Rudy sat as a fly 
sits upon some swinging straw which a bird, building its nest, 
might have dropped on the edge of the lofty eyrie it had 
chosen for its site ; but the insect could fly if the straw gave 
way Rudy could but break his neck. The wind was howl- 
ing around him, and away in the abyss below roared the gusn- 
ing water from the melting glacier the Ice Maiden's palace. 

His ascent set the ladder into a tremulous motion, as the 
spider does which holds fast to its long waving slender thread. 
When Rudy had gained the top of the fourth ladder, he felt 
more confidence in them : he knew that they had been boun^i 
together by sure and skillful hands, though they dangled as if 
they had had but slight fastenings. 

But there was even more dangerous work before Rudy than 
mounting a line of ladders that now swayed like a frame of 



THE ICE MAIDEN. IO5 

rushes in the air, and now knocked against the perpendicular 
rock : he had to climb as a cat climbs. But Rudy could do 
that, thanks to the cat who had taught him. He did not 
perceive the presence of Vertigo, who trod the air behind him, 
and stretched forth her polypus-arms after him. He gained, 
at length, the last step of the highest ladder, and then he 
observed that he had not got high enough even to see into 
the nest. It was only by using his hands that he could raise 
himself up to it ; he tried if the lowest part of the thick inter 
laced underwood, which formed the base of the nest, was 
sufficiently strong ; and when he had assured himself that the 
stunted trees were firm, he swung himself up by them from 
the ladder, until his head and breast had reached the level of 
the nest. But then poured forth on him a stifling stench of 
carrion ; for putrefied lambs, chamois, and birds lay there 
crowded together. 

Swimming-in-the-Head, a sister to Vertigo, though it could 
not overpower him, puffed the disgusting almost poisonous odor 
into his face, that he might become faint ; and down below, 
in the black yawning ravine, upon the dank dashing waters, 
sat the Ice Maiden herself, with her long pale-green hair, and 
gazed upward with her death-giving eyes, while she ex- 
claimed, 

" Now I will seize you ! " 

In a corner of the eagle's nest, Rudy beheld the eaglet 
sitting a large and powerful creature, even though it could 
not yet fly. Rudy fixed his eyes on it, held on marvelously 
with one hand, and with the other hand cast a noose around 
the young eagle ; it was captured alive, its legs were in the 
tightened cord, and Rudy flung the sling with the bird over 
his shoulder, so that the creature hung a good way down 
beneath him, as, with the help of a rope, he held on, until his 
foot touched at last the highest s f ep of the ladder. 

" Hold fast ! don't fear to fall, and you will not do so ! " 
Such was his early lesson, and Rudy acted on it : he held fast, 
crept down, and did not fall. 

Then arose a shout of joy and congratulation. Rudy stood 
safely on the rocky ground, laden with his prize, the young 
eagle. 



IO2 STOXfES AXD TALES, 

WHAT MORE THE PARLOR CAT HAD To TILL. 

" Here is what you demanded ! r said Rudy, as he entereJ 
the miller's house at Bex. and placed on the tloor a large bas- 
ket. When he took its cover off, there glared forth two yel- 
low eyes surrounded with a dark ring eyes so flash: ng, so 
wild, that they looked as though they would burn or blast 
everything they saw ; the short hard beak opened to bite ; vbe 
ceck was red and downy. 

"The young eagle ! " exclaimed the Miller. Babette 
screamed, and sprang to one side, but could not take her eyes 
ofT from Rudy and the eaglet. 

You are not to be frightened! '' said the Miller, address- 
ing Rudy. 

" And you will keep your word," said Rudy ; " even* on 
has his object." 

" But how is it that you did not break your neck ? ' askec 
the Miller. 

Because I held fast," replied Rudy ; " and so I do now 
I hold fast to Babette." 

Wait till you get her ! " said the Miller, laughing, and Ba- 
bette thought that was a good sign, 

" Let us take the young eagle out of the basket : it is 
frightful to see how its eyes glare. How did you manage to 
capture it ? ! 

Rudy had to describe his feat, and, as he spoke, the millers 
eyes opened wider and wider. 

With your confidence and your good fortune, you might 
rjaintain three wives/' said the Miller. 

" O. thank vou ! <? cried Rudv. 

* r 

' But you won't get Babette just yet," said the Miller, slap- 
clng the 7oung Alpine hunter with good-humor on his shoul- 
der. 



" Do you know there is something ^oing on again here ' 
aid the parlor Cat to the kitchen Cat. " Rudy has brought 
as the young eagle, and takes Babette as his reward. They 
have kissed each other in the father's presence ! That was 
as good as a betrothal. The old man did not storm at a, 1 ; : he 



THE ICE MAIDEN. 

kept in his claws, took an afternoon nap, and left the two to 
sit and chatter to each other. They have so much to say that 
they will not be tired talking till Christmas." 

And they were not tired talking till Christmas. The wind 
whirled in eddies through the groves, and shook down the yel- 
low leaves ; the snow-drifts appeared in the valleys as well as 
on the lofty hills ; the Ice Maiden sat in her proud palace, 
which she occupied during the winter time ; the upright walls 
of rock were covered with sleet ; enormous masses of ice- 
tapestry were to be seen where, in summer, the mountain 
streams came pouring down ; fantastic garlands of crystal ice 
hung over the snow-powdered pine-trees. The Ice Maiden 
rode on the howling wind, over the deepest dales. The car- 
pet of snow was laid down as far as Bex ; she could go there, 
and see Rudy in the house where he now passed so much of 
his time with Babette. The wedding was to take place in 
summer, and they heard enough of it their friends talked 
so much about it. 

There came sunshine ; the most beautiful Alpine roses 
bloomed. The lovely laughing Babette was as charming as 
die early spring the spring which makes all the birds sing 
of summer-time, when was to be the wedding-day. 

" How these two do sit and hang over each other ! " ex- 
claimed the parlor Cat. " I am sick of all this stuff." 

THE ICE MAIDEN'S SCORN OF MANKIND. 

Spring had unfolded her fresh green garlands of walnut and 
chestnut-trees which were bursting intc Woom, particularly in 
the country that extends from the bridge at St. Maurice to the 
Lake of Geneva and the banks of the Rhone, which, with 
wild speed, rushes from its source under the green glacieis 
the Ice Palace where the Ice Maiden dwells whence, on the 
keen wind, she permits herself to be borne up to the highest 
fields of snow, and, in the warm sunshine, reclines on their 
drifting masses. Here she sat, and gazed fixedly down into 
the deep valley beneath, where human beings, like ants on a 
sunlit stone, were to be seen busily moving about. 

" Beings of mental power, as the children of the sun call 
you, ' cried the Ice Maiden, " ye are but vermin ! Let a snow 



104 STORIES AND TALES. 

ball but roll down, and you and your houses and your village! 
are crushed and overwhelmed." And she raised her proud 
bead higher, and looked with death-threatening eyes around 
her and below her. But from the valley arose a strange 
sound : it was the blasting of rocks the woik of men the 
forming of roads and tunnels before the railway was laid 
down. 

" They are working underground like moles ; they are dig- 
ging passages in the rock, and therefore are heard these 
sounds like the reports of guns. I shall remove my palaces, 
for the noise is greater than the roar of thunder itself." 

There ascended from the valley a thick smoke, which 
seemed agitated like a fluttering veil : it came curling up from 
the locomotive, which upon the newly opened railway drew 
the train, that, carriage linked to carriage, looked like a wind- 
ing serpent. With an arrow's speed it shot past. 

u They pretend to be the masters down yonder, these pow- 
ers of mind ! ' exclaimed the Ice Maiden ; " but the mighty 
powers of nature are still the rulers." 

And she laughed, she sang ; her voice resounded through 
the valley. 

" An avalanche is falling! " cried the people down there. 

Then the children of the sun sang in louder strains about 
the power of thought in mankind. It commands all, it brings 
the wide ocean under the yoke, levels mountains, fills up val- 
; eys ; the power of thought in mankind makes them lores 
over the powers of nature. 

Just at that moment, there came, crossing the snow-fields 
where the Ice Maiden sat, a party of travellers ; they had 
bound themselves fast to each other, to be as one large body 
upon the slippery ice, near the deep abyss. 

"Vermin ! " she exclaimed. " You the lords of the powers 
of nature ! " and she turned away from them, and looked 
scoinfully toward the deep valley, where the railway train was 
rushing by. 

"There they go, these thoughts ! They are full of might; 
I see them everywhere. One stands alone like a king, others 
stand in a group, and yonder half of them are asleep. And 
when the steam-engine stops still, they get out and go thei* 



THE ICE MAIDEN. I<>5 

way. The thoughts then go forth into the world." And she 
laughed. 

" There goes another avalanche ! " said the inhabitants of 
the valley. 

" It will not reach us," cried two who sat together in "iie 
train " two souls, but one mind," as has been said. These 
were Rudy and Babette ; the miller accompanied them. 

" Like baggage," he said, " I am with ^hem as a sort of 
necessary appendage." 

" There sit the two," said the Ice Maiden. " Many a cha- 
mois have I crushed, millions of Alpine roses have I snapped 
and broken, not a root left I destroyed them all ! Thought 
power of mind, indeed ! ' 

And she laughed again. 

" There goes another avalanche!" said those down in the 
valley. 

THE GODMOTHER. 

At Montreux, one of the nearest towns, which, with Clarens, 
Bernex, and Crin, encircle the northeast part of the Lake of 
Geneva, resided Babette's godmother, the distinguished Eng 
lish lady, with her daughters and a young relation. They had 
only lately arrived, yet the miller had already paid them a 
visit, announced Babette's engagement, and told about Rudy 
and the young eagle, the visit to Interlaken in short, the 
whole story ; and it had highly interested his hearers, and 
pleased them with Rudy, Babette, and even the miller himself. 
They were invited all three to come to Montreux, and they 
went. Babette ought to see her godmother, and her god- 
mother wished to see her. 

At the little town of Villeneuve, about the end of the Lake 
of Geneva, lay the steamboat, that, in a voyage of half an 
hour, went from thence to Bernex, a little way below Mon- 
treux. It is a coast which has often been celebrated in song 
by poets. There, under the walnut-trees, on the banks of the 
Jeep bluish-green lake, Byron sat, and wrote his melodious 
rerses about the prisoner in the gloomy mountain castle of 
Chillon. There, where Clarens is reflected amidst weeping 
fc-iKows in the clear water, wandered Rousseau, dreaming of 
PJoise. The river Rhone glides away under the lofty snow 



1Gb S "1 "OR 7 'AS AND TALKS. 

clad hills of Savoy ; here there lies not far from its mouth a 
small island, so small that from the shore it looks as if it were 
but a toy islet. It is a patch of rocky ground, which about a 
century ago a lady caused to be walled rour.cl and coveied 
with earth, in which three acacia-trees were planted ; these 
now overshadow the whole island. Babette had always been 
charmed with this little islet ; she thought it the loveliest spot 
that was to be seen on the whole voyage. She said she would 
like so much to land there she must land there it would 
be so delightful under these beautiful trees. But the steamer 
passed it by, and did not stop until it had reached Bernex. 

The little party proceeded thence up amidst the white sun- 
lit walls that surrounded the vineyards in front of the little 
town of Montreux, where the peasants' houses are shaded by 
fig-trees, and laurels and cypresses grow in the gardens. Half 
way up the ascent stood the boarding-house where the god- 
mother lived. 

The meeting was very cordial. The godmother was a stout 
pleasant-looking woman, with a round smiling face. When a 
child she must certainly have exhibited quite a Raphael-like 
cherub's head ; it was still an angel's head, but older, and 
with silver-white hair clustering round it. The daughters 

o o 

were well dressed, elegant looking, tall and slender. The 
young cousin who was with them, and who was dressed in 
white almost from top to toe, and had red hair and red whiskers 
!arge enough to have been divided among three gentlemen, I 
began immediately to pay the utmost attention to little Babette. 

Splendidly bound books and drawings were lying on the 
large table ; music-books were also to be seen in the room. 
The balcony looked out upon the beautiful lake, which was so 
bright and calm that the mountains of Savoy, with their Til- 
lages, woods, and snow-peaks, were clearly reflected in it. 

Rudy, who was generally so lively and so undaunted, found 
himself not at all at his ease. He was obliged to be as much 
on his guard as if he were walking on pease over a slippery 
floor. How tediously time passed ! It was like being in 2 
treadmill. And now they were to go out to walk ! This was 
quite as tiresome. Two steps forward and one backward 
Rudy had to take to keep pace with the others. Down to 



THE ICE MA IDEM 1OJ 

Chillon, the gloomy old castle on the rocky island, they went, 
to look at instruments of torture and dungeons, rusty fetters 
attached to the rocky walls, stone pallets for those condemned 
to death, trap-doors through which the unfortunate creatures 
were hurled down to fall upon iron spikes amidst burning piles. 
They called it a pleasure to look at all these ! A dread* 
ful place of execution it was, elevated by Byron's verse into 
tne world of poetry. Rudy viewed it only as a place of exe- 
;ution. He leaned against the wide stone embrasure of the 
tfl.idow, and gazed down on the deep blue-green of the 
water, and over to the little solitary island with the three 
acacias : how much he wished himself there free from the 
whole babbling party ! 

But Babette felt quite happy. She had been excessively 
amused, she said afterward ; the cousin had " found her 
perfect." 

" O yes mere idle talk ! " replied Rudy ; and this was 
the first time he had ever said anything that did not please 
her. 

The Englishman had made her a present of a little book as 
a souvenir of Chillon ; it was Byron's poem, the " Prisoner of 
Chillon," translated into French, so that Babette was able to 
read it. 

" The book may be good enough," said Rudy, " but the 
nicely combed fop who gave it to you is no favorite of mine." 

" He looks like a meal-sack without meal," cried the Miller, 
.aughing at his own wit. 

Rudy laughed too, and said it was an excellent remark. 

THE COUSIN. 

When Rudy a few days afterward went to pay a visit to the 
miller, he found the young Englishman there. Babette had 
iust placed before him a plate of tiout, and she had taken 
much pains to decorate the dish. Rudy thought that was* 
unnecessary. What was the Englishman doing there ? What 
did he want? Why was he thus served and pampered b*' 
Babette ? Rudy was jealous, and that pleased Babette. It 
amused her to see all the feelings of his heart the strong 
inti the weak. Love was to her as yet put a pastime, and sh 



SOS STORIES AND TALES. 

played with Rudy's whole heart ; but nevertheless it is certain 
that he was the centre of all her thoughts the dearest, th 
most valued in this world. Still, the more gloomy he looked, 
the merrier her eyes laughed. She could almost have kissed 
Ihe fair Englishman with the red whiskers, if she could by 
doing this have seen Rudy rush out in a rage ; it would have 
shown her how greatly she was beloved by him. 

This was not right, not wise in little Babette ; but she was 
o*ily nineteen years of age. She did not reflect on her un- 
kindness to Rudy; still less did she think how her conduct 
might appear to the young Englishman, or if it were not 
lighter and more wanting in propriety than became the miller's 
modest, lately betrothed daughter. 

Where the highway from Bex passes under the snow-clad 
rocky he'ghts, which, in the language of the country, are 
called Diablerets, stood the mill, not far from a rapid rushing 
mountain stream of a grayish-white color and looking as if 
covered with soap-suds. It was not that which turned the 
mill, but a smaller stream, which on the other side of the 
river came tumbling down the rocks, and through a circular 
reservoir surrounded by stones in the road beneath, with its 
violence and speed forced itself up and ran into an inclosed 
basin, a wide dam which, above the rushing river, turned the 
large wheel of the mill. When the dam was full of water, it 
overflowed, and caused the path to be so damp and slippery 
that it was difficult to walk on it, and there was the chance 
of a fall into the water, and being carried by it more swiftly 
thin pleasantly toward the mill. Such a mishap had nearly 
befallen the young Englishman. Equipped in white like a 
miller's man, he was climbing the path in the evening, guided 
by the light that shone from Babette's chamber window. He had 
never learned to climb, and had almost gone head foremost 
into the water, but escaped with wet arms and bespattered 
slothes. Covered with mud and dirty-looking, he arrived 
oeneath Babette's window, clambered up the old linden-tree, 
ind there began to mimic the owl no other bird could he 
attempt to imitate. Babette heard the sounds, and peeped 
through the thin curtains ; but when she saw the man in white 
and felt certain who he was, her little heart beat with terror 



THE ICE MAIDEN. 

and also with anger. She quickly extinguished her light, felt 
if the window we/e securely fastened, and then left him to 
screech at his leisure. 

IJow terrible it would be if Rudy were now at the 2: '11 
But Rudy was not at the mill : no it was much worse he 
<vas close by outside. High words were spoken angry 
WO Tds there might be blows, there might even be murder ! 

Babette hastened to open her window, and, c ailing Rudy's 
name, bade him go away, adding that she could not permit 
him to remain there. 

" You will not permit me to remain here ! ' he exclaimed 
" Then this is an appointment ! You are expecting some 
good friend some one whom you prefer to me ! Shame on 
you, Babette ! " 

' You are unbearable ! " cried Babette j " I hate you ! * 
*d she burst into tears. " Go go ! ' 

" I have not deserved this," said Rudy, as he went away, 
his cheeks like fire, his heart like fire. 

Babette threw herself weeping on her bed. 

" And you can think ill of me, Rudy of me who love you 
so dearly ! ' : 

She was angry very angry, and that was good for her \ 
she would otherwise have been deeply afflicted. As it was, 
she could fall asleep and slumber as only youth can do. 

EVIL POWERS. 

Rudy left Bex, and took his way homeward, choosing the 
path up the mountains, with its cold fresh air, where, amidst 
the deep snow the Ice Maiden holds her sway. The largest 
Irees with their thick foliage looked, so far below, as if they 
were but potato tops ; the pines and the bushes became smaller : 
the Aipine roses were covered with snow, which lay in single 
patches, like linen on a bleach-field. One solitary blue gen- 
tian stood in his path ; he crushed it with the butt-end of his 
gun. Higher up two chamois showed themselves. Rudy's 
eyes sparkled, and his thoughts took flight into another chan- 
nel, but he was not near enough for a sure aim. Higher still 
he ascended, where otl" a few blades of grass grew amidst 
the blocks of ice. The chamois passed in peace over 



IIO STORIES AND TALES. 

fields of snow. Rudy pressed angrily on ; thick mists 
ered around him, and presently he found himself on the brini 
of the steep precipice of rock. The rain began to fall in tor- 
rents. He felt a burning thirst ; his head was hot, his limbs 
were cold. He sought for his hunting flask, but it was empty : 
he had not given it a thought when he rushed up the moun- 
tains. He had never been ill in his life, but now he expe- 
rienced a sensation like illness. He was very tired, and felt 
a strong desire to throw himself down and sleep, but water 
<vas streaming all around him. He tried to arouse himself, 
but every object seemed to be dancing in a strange manner 
before his eyes. 

Suddenly he beheld what he had never before seen there 
a newly built low hut that leaned against the rock, and in the 
doorway stood a young girl. He thought she was the school- 
master's daughter, Annette, whom he had once kissed in the 
dance, but she was not Annette ; yet certainly he had seen 
her before, perhaps near Grindehvald the evening he was re- 
turning home from the shooting matches at Interlaken. 

" How did you come here ? " he asked. 

" I am at home," she replied ; " I am watching my flocks." 

" Your flocks ! Where do they find grass ? Here there is 
nothing but snow and rocks," 

" You know much about it, to be sure ! '" she said, laughing. 
" Behind this, a little way down, is a very nice piece of pas- 
ture land. My goats go there. I take good care of them ; I 
never miss one ; I keep what belongs to me." 

"You are stout-hearted," said Rudy. 

" And so are you," she answered. 

" If you ha , e any milk, pray give me some ; my thirst is 
almost intolerable." 

" I have something better than milk," she replied ; " you 
thall have that. To-day some travellers came here with their 
guides ; they left half a flask of wine behind them. They 
will not return for it, and I shall not drink it, so you shaM 
nave it." 

She went for the wine, poured it into a wooden goblet, ana 
gave it to P.udy. 

'" It is excellent," said he ; " I never tasted any wine so warm 



THE ICE MAIDEN. Ill 

Kig, so reviving." And his eyes beamed with a wondrous 
brilliancy; there carne a thrill of enjoyment, a glow over him, 
as if every sorrow and every vexation were vanishing from his 
mind ; the free gushing feeling of man's nature awoke in him. 

" But you are surely Annette, the schoolmaster's daughter,'* 
he exclaimed. " Give me a kiss." 

" First give me the pretty ring you wear on your finger." 

*' My betrothal ring ? " 

"Yes, just it," said the girl; and replenishing the goblet 
with wine, she held it to his lips, and again he drank. A 
strange sense of pleasure seemed to rush into his very blood. 
The whole world was his, he seemed to fancy why torment 
himself? Everything is given for our gratification and enjoy- 
ment. The stream of life is the stream of happiness : flow 
on with it, let yourself be borne away on it that is felicity. 
He gazed on the young girl. She was Annette, and yet not An- 
nette ; still less was she the magical phantom, as he had called 
her whom he had met near Grindelwald. The girl up here 
upon the mountain was fresh as the new-fallen snow, bloom- 
ing like an Alpine rose, and lively as a kid ; yet still formed 
from Adam's rib, a human being like Rudy himself. And he 
flung his arms around her, and gazed into her marvelously 
clear eyes. It was only for a moment ; and in that moment 
how shall it be expressed, how described in words ? Was 
it the life of the spirit or the life of death which took posses- 
sion of him ? Was he raised higher, or was he sinking down 
into the deep icy abyss, deeper, always deeper ? He beheld 
the walls of ice shining like blue-green glass ; endless cre- 
r asses yawned around him, and the waters dripped with a 
<ound like the chime of bells they were clear as a pearl 
lighted by pale blue flames. The Ice Maiden kissed him ; it 
chill sd him through his whole body. He uttered a cry of hor- 
roi, broke resolutely away from her, stumbled and fell ; all 
became dark to his eyes, but he opened them again. The 
evil powers had played their game. 

The Alpine girl was gone, the sheltering hut was gone ; 
vater poured down the naked rocks, and snow lay all around. 
Rudy was shivering with cola, soaked through to the very 
skin, and his ring was gone the betrothal ring Babette had 



112 STORIES AND TALES. 

given him. His gun lay on the snow close by him ; he too* 

it up, and tried to discharge it, but it missed lire. Damp 
clouds rested like thick masses of snow on the mountain 
clefts. Vertigo sat there, and glared upon her powerless piey 
and beneath her rang through the deep crevasse a sound as :/ 
a mass of rock had fallen down, and was crushing and carry- 
ing away everything that opposed it in its furious descent. 

At the miller's., Babette sat and wept. Six days had elapsed 
since Rudy had been there he who was in the wrong, he 
who ought to ask her forgiveness, for she loved him with he? 
whole heart. 

AT THE MILLER'S HOUSE. 

" How frightfully foolish mankind are ! " said the parlor Cat 
to the kitchen Cat. " It is all broken off now between Ba- 
bette and Rudy. She sits and cries, and he thinks no more 
about her." 

" I don't like that," said the kitchen Cat. 

" Nor I either," replied the parlor Cat, " but I am not going 
to distress myself about it. Babette can take the red whis- 
kers for her sweetheart. He has not been here since the 
evening he wanted to go on the roof." 

The powers of evil carry on their game without and within 
us. Rudy was aware of this, and he reflected on it. What 
had passed around him and within him up yonder on the 
mountain ? Was it sin, or was it a fever dream ? He had 
never known fever or illness before. While he blamed Ba- 
bette, he took a retrospective glance within himself. He 
thought of the wild tornado in his heart, the hot whirlwind 
which had recently broken loose there. Could he confess all 
to Babette every thought which in the hour of temptation, 
Blight have been carried out ? He had lost her ring, and in 
this very loss she had won him back. Was any confession 
due from her to him ? He felt as if his heart were breaking 
when his thoughts reverted to her so many recollections 
crowded on his mind. He saw in her a laughing merry child, 
full of life ; mar.y an affectionate word she had addressed to 
him in the fullness of her heart came, like a ray of the sun, 
to gladden his soul, and soon it was all sunshine there for Ba 
bette. 



THE ICE MAIDEN. 113 

She must, however, apologize to him, and she should do so 

He went to the miller's, and confession followed : it began 
rith a kiss, and ended in Rudy's being the sinner. His great 
fault was that he could have doubted Babette's constancy 
that was too bad of him ! Such distrust, such impetuosity 
might cause misery to them both. Yes, very true ! and there- 
fore Babette preached him a little sermon, which pleased her- 
self vastly, and during which she looked very pretty. But, in 
one particular, Rudy was right the godmother's nephew was 
a mere babbler. She would burn the book he had given her 
and not keep the slightest article that would remind her oi 
him. 

" Well, it is all right again," said the parlor Cat. " Rudy 
has come back, they have made friends j and that is the great- 
est of pleasures, they say." 

" I heard during the night," said the kitchen Cat, " the rats 
declaring that the greatest of pleasures was to eat candle- 
grease and to banquet on tainted meat. Which of them is to 
be believed, the lovers or the rats ? ' 

" Neither of them," replied the parlor Cat. " It is always 
safest to believe no one." 

The greatest happiness for Rudy and Babette was about to 
take place ; the auspicious day, as it is called, was approach- 
ing their wedding-day ! 

But not in the church at Bex, not at the miller's house, was 
the wedding to be solemnized : the godmother had requested 
that the marriage should be celebrated at her abode, and that 
the ceremony should be performed in the pretty little church 
at Montreux. The miller was very urgent that this arrange- 
ment should be agreed to ; he alone knew what the godmother 
intended to bestow on the young couple : they were to receive 
from her a wedding gift that was well worth such a small con- 
cession to her wishes. The day was fixed ; they were to go 
lo Villeneuve the evening before, in order to proceed by an 
early steamer next morning to Montreux, that the godmother's 
taughters might adorn the bride. 

4 There ought to be a second day's wedding here in this 
house,' said the parlor Cat ; " else I am sure I would not give 
a mew for the whole affair.' 

a 



114 STORIES AND TALES. 

"There is going to be a grand feast," replied ths IciUbe* 
Cat. " Ducks and pigeons have been killed, and an entire 
deer hangs against the wall. My mouth waters when I look 
at all this. To-morrow they commence their journey." 

Yes, to-m Drrow ! That evening Rudy and Babette sat as * 
betrothed couple for the last time at the miller's house. Out- 
side was to be seen the Alpine glow ; the evening bells were 
ringing ; the daughters of the sun sang, " That which is best 
will be ! " 

NIGHT VISIONS. 

The sun had set ; the clouds lay low in the valley of the 
Rhone ; amidst the lofty mountains, the wind blew from the 
south an African wind. Suddenly over the high Alps there 
arose a " fohn," which swept the clouds asunder ; and when 
the wind had lulled, all became for a moment perfectly still. 
The scattered clouds hung in fantastic forms amidst the 
wooded hills that skirted the rapid Rhone ; they hung in forms 
like those of the marine animals of the antediluvian world, 
like eagles hovering in the air, and like frogs springing in a 
marsh ; they sank down over the gushing river, and seemed 
to sail upon it, yet it was in the air they sailed. The current 
carried with it an uprooted pine-tree ; the water whirled in 
eddies around it. It was Vertigo and some of her sisters that 
were thus dancing in circles upon the foaming stream. The 
moon shone on the snow-capped hills, on the dark woods, on 
the curious white clouds those appearances of the night 
that seem to be the spirits of nature. The mountain peasant 
saw them through his little window ; they sailed outside in 
hosts before the Ice Maiden who came from her glacier pal- 
ace. She sat on a frail skiff, the uprooted pine ; the water 
from the glaciers bore her down to the river near the lake. 

" The wedding guests are coming ! '' the air and the waters 
seemed to murmur and to sing. 

Warnings without, warnings within ! Babette had an ex 
tiaordinary dream. 

It seemed to her as if she were married to Rudy, and had 
Deen so for many years ; that he was out chamois hunting, bu* 
she was at home ; and tbat the young Englishma with thi 



THE ICE MAIDEN. 1 15 

red whiskers was sitting with her. His eyes were full of pa:> 
sion, his words had as it were a magic power in them ; he 
held out his hand to her, and she felt compelled to go with 
him ; they went forth from her home, and went always down- 
ward. And Babette felt as if there were a weight in her 
heart, which was becoming every moment heavier. She was 
committing a sin against Rudy a sin against God. And 
suddenly she found herself forsaken ; her dress was torn to 
pieces by thorns, her hair was gray. She looked upward in 
deep distress, and on the margin of a mountain ridge she be- 
held Rudy. She stretched her arms up toward him, but did 
not dare either to call to him or to pray ; and neither would 
have been of any avail, for she soon perceived that it was not 
himself, but only his shooting jacket and cap, which were 
hanging on an alpenstock, as hunters sometimes place them 
to deceive the chamois. And in great misery Babette ex- 
claimed, 

" O that I had died on my wedding-day the day that was 
the happiest of my life ! O Lord my God ! that would have 
been a mercy a blessing ! That would have been the best 
thing that could have happened for me and Rudy. No one 
knows his future fate." And in impious despair she cast her- 
self down into the deep mountain chasm. A string seemed 
to have broken a tone of sorrow was echoed around. 

Babette awoke. Her vision was at an end, and what had 
happened in the dream-world had partially vanished from her 
mind ; but she knew that she had dreamt something frightful, 
and dreamt about the young Englishman, whom she had not 
*eei\ or thought of for several months. Could he still be at 
Montreux ? Would she see him at her wedding ? A slight 
shade of displeasure stole around Babette's pretty mouth, and 
for a moment her eyebrows knitted ; but soon came a smile 
and a gay sparkle in her eye. The sun was shining so brightly 
vithout, and to-morrow was her and Rudy's wedding-day! 

He was already in the parlor when she came down, and 
^.T-ortly after they set off for Villeneuve. The two were all 
lappiness, and riie rriller likewise ; he laughed and joked, 
ind was in the highest spirits. A kind father, a good soul, he 
by as. 

" Now \ve have the house to ourselves," said the parlor Cat 



Il6 STORIES AND TALES. 



THE CONCLUSION. 

It was not yet late in the day when the three joyous travel 
lers reached Villeneuve. After they had dined, the millei 
placed himself in a comfortable arm-chair with his pipe ; 
intending, when he had done smoking, to take a short nap, 
The affianced couple went arm in arm out of the town, along 
the high-road, under the wooded hills that bordered the blue- 
green lake. The gray walls and heavy towers of the rnelan 
choly looking Chillon were reflected in the clear water. The 
little island with the three acacias seemed quite near : it 
looked like a bouquet on the calm lake. 

" How charming it must be over yonder ! ' exclaimed 
Babette, who felt again the greatest desire to go to it ; and 
her wish might be gratified at once, for a boat was lying close 
to the bank, and the rope by which it was secured was easy 
to undo. There was no one to be seen of whom they could 
ask permission to take it, so they got into it without leave. 
Rudy knew very well how to row. The oars, like the fins of 
a fish, divided the mass of water that is so pliant and yet sc 
potent, so strong to bear, so ready to swallow gentle, smil- 
ing, smoothness itself, and yet terror-inspiring and mighty to 
destroy. A line of foam floated behind the boat, which, in a 
few minutes, arrived at the little island, where the happy pah 
immediately landed. There was just room for two to dance. 

Rudy swung Babette three or four times round, and then 
they sat down on the little bench under the drooping acacia, 
and looked into each other's eyes, and held each other's hands, 
while around them streamed the last rays of the setting sun. 
The pine forests on the hills assumed a purplish red tint, 
resembling the hue of the blooming heather ; and where the 
trees stopped, and the bare rocks stood forward, there was a 
iich lustre, as if the mountain were transparent. The skies 
W3re brilliant with a crimson glow; the whole lake was cov- 
ered with a tinge of pink, as if it had been thickly strewn with 
fresh blushing roses. As the shades of evening gathered 
around the snow-decked mountains of Savoy, they became of 
a dark-blue in color, but the highest peaks shone like red lava, 
\nd for a moment reflected their light on the mountain forms 



THE ICE MAIDEN. 117 

before these vast masses tere lost in darkness. It was th 
Alpine glow, and Rudy and Babette thought they had never 
before beheld one so magnificent. The snow-bedecked Dent 
du Midi gleamed like the disk of the full moon when it shows 
itself above the horizon. 

" O, what beauty ! O, what pleasure ! " exclaimed the lovers 
at the same time. 

" Earth can bestow no more on me," said Rudy ; "an even- 
ing like this is as a whole life. How often have I been 
sensible of my good fortune, as I am sensible of it now, and 
have thought that, if everything were to come at once to an 
end for me, I have lived a happy life ! What a blessed world 
is this ! One day ends, but another begins, and I always 
fancy the last is the brightest. Our Lord is infinitely good, 
Babette." 

" I am so happy," she whispered. 

" Earth can bestow no more on me," repeated Rudy. And 
the evening bells rang from the hills of Savoy and the moun- 
tains of Switzerland. In golden splendor stood forth toward 
the west the dark-blue Jura. 

" God grant you all that is brightest and best ! " exclaimed 
Babette fervently. 

" He will," said Rudy ; " to-morrow will fulfill that wish. 
To-morrow you will be wholly mine my own little charming 
wife." 

" The boat ! " cried Babette at that moment. 

The boat which was to take them across again had got 
loose, and was drifting away from the island. 

" I will bring it back," said Rudy, as he took off his coat 
and boots, and, springing into the lake, swam vigorously 
toward the boat. 

Cola and deep was the clear bluish-green icy water from 
the glacier of the mountain. Rudy looked down into it he 
.ook but a glance, yet he saw a gold ring trembling, glittering, 
and playing there. Ha thought of his lost betrothal ring, and 
the ring became larger and extended itself out into a sparkling 
circle, within which appeared the clear glacier ; endless deep 
chasms yawned around it, and the water dropped tinkling lik^ 
the sound of bells, and gleaming with pale-blue flames. In a 



I 1 8 STORIES AND TALES. 

second he beheld what it will take many words to describe. 
Young hunters and young girls, men and women who had 
been lost in the crevasses of the glacier, stood there, life-like, 
with open eyes and smiling lips ; and far beneath them arose 
from buried villages the church bells' chimes. Multitudes 
knelt under the vaulted roofs ; ice-blocks formed the organ- 
pipes, and the mountain torrents made the music. The Ice 
Maiden sat on the clear transparent ground ; she raised 
herself up toward Rudy, and kissed his feet, and theie passed 
throughout his limbs a death-like chill, an electric shock 
ice and fire : it was impossible to distinguish one from the 
other in the quick touch. 

" Mine ! mine ! " sounded around him and within him. " I 
kissed thee when thou wert littie kissed thee on thy mouth ! 
Now I kiss thee on thy feet ; now thou art wholly mine ! ' 

And he disappeared in the clear blue water. 

All was still around. The church bells had ceased to ring; 
their last tones had died away along with the last streak of 
red on the skies above. 

" Thou art mine ! " resounded in the depths below. " Thou 
art mine ! ' resounded from beyond the heights from in- 
finity ! 

Happy to pass from love to love, from earth to heaven ! 

A string seemed to have broken a tone of sorrow was 
echoed around. The ice-kiss of death had triumphed ove* 
the corruptible ; the prelude to the drama of life had ended 
before the game itself had begun. All that seemed harsh, or 
sounded harshly, had subsided into harmony. 

Do you call this a sad story ? 

Poor Babette ! For her it was an hour of anguish. The 
boat drifted farther and farther away. No one on the main- 
land knew that the betrothed couple had gone over to the 
little island. The evening advanced, the clouds gathered, 
darkness came. Alone, despairing, wailing, she stood there. 
A furious storm came on ; the lightning played over the Jura 
mountains, and over those of Switzerland and Savoy ; from 
all sides flash followed upon flash, while the peals of thundei 
oiled in all directions for many minutes at a time. One mo 
merit the lightning was so vivid that all around became a* 



THE ICE MAIDEN. lig 

bright as day every single vine stem could be seen as dis 
tinctly as at the hour of noon and in another moment the 
blackest darkness enveloped all. The lightning darted in 
zigzags around the lake, and the roar of the thunder was 
echoed among the surrounding hills. On land the boats 
were drawn far up the beach, and all that were living had 
sought shelter. And now the rain poured down in torrents. 

" Where can Rudy and Babette be in this awful weather ? " 
laid the Miller. 

Babette sat with folded hands, with her head in her lap, ex- 
hausted by grief, by screaming, by weeping. 

" In the deep water," she sobbed to herself, " far down yon- 
der, as under a glacier, he lies." 

She remembered what Rudy had told her about his mother's 
death, and of his being saved himself when taken up appar- 
ently dead from the cleft in the glacier. " The Ice Maiden 
Aas him again ! " 

And there came a flash of lightning as dazzling as the sun's 
rays on the white snow. Babette looked up. The lake rose 
at that moment like a shining glacier : the Ice Maiden stood 
there, majestic, pale, glittering, and at her feet lay Rudy's 
corpse. 

" Mine ! J: ' she cried, and again all around was gloom, and 
darkness, and torrents of rain. 

" Terrible ! " groaned Babette. " Why should he die just 
when our happy day was so close at hand ? Great God, en- 
lighten my understanding shed light upon my heart! I 
comprehend not Thy ways, determined by Thine almighty 
power and wisdom." 

And God did shed light on her heart. A retrospective 
glance a sense of grace her dream of the preceding 
night all crowded together on her mind. She remembered 
the words she had spoken a wish for that which might be 
best for herself and Rudy. 

" Woe is me ! Was it the germ of sin in my heart ? Was 
my dream a glimpse into the future, whose course had to be 
thus violently arrested to save me from guilt ? Unhappy 
wretch that I am ! ' 

She sat wailing f here in the pitch-dark night. During the 



I2O STOKSS AND TALES, 

deep stillness seemed to ring around her Rudy s wcrds, the 
last he had ever spoken, " Earth can bestow no more on 
me ! ' : Their sound was fraught with the fullness of joy ; they 
were echoed amidst the depths of grief. 

Some few years have elapsed since then. The lake smiles, 
its shores smile ; the vines bear luscious grapes ; steamboats 
with waving flags glide swiftly by ; pleasure-boats with their 
two unfurled sails skim like white butterflies over the watery 
mirror ; the railway beyond Chillon is open, and it goes far into 
the valley of the Rhone. At every station strangers issue 
from it they come with their red-bound guide-books, and 
study therein what they ought to see. They visit Chillon, ob- 
serve in the lake the little island with the three acacias, and 
read in the book about a bridal pair who, in the year 1856, 
rowed over to it one afternoon of the bridegroom's death, 
and that not till the next morning were heard upon the shore 
the bride's despairing cries. 

But the guide-book gives no account of Babette's quiet life 
at her father's house not at the mill (strangers now live 
there), but at a pretty spot whence from her window she can 
often look beyond the chestnut-trees to the snowy hills over 
which Rudv loved to rans:e ; she can see at the hour of even- 

> o / 

ing the Alpine glow up where the children of the sun revel, 
and repeat their song about the wanderer whose cap the whirl- 
wind carried off, but it could not take himself. 

There is a rosy tint upon the mountain's snow there is a 
rosy tint in every heart, which admits the thought, " God or 
dains what is best for us ! " But it is not vouchsafed to us al^ 
o fully to feel this, as it was to Babette in her dress* 



WHAT HAPPENED TO THE THISTLE. 

AROUND the fine old mansion was a beautiful garden, 
full of all kinds of rare trees and flowers ; the guest.%, 
on a visit to the owner of all this, expressed their delight and 
admiration of the wonderful garden ; the people from the 
country round about, and from the nearest town, used to come 
on Sundays and holidays, and ask permission to see it ; even 
whole schools made excursions to that place, merely for the 
purpose of seeing the garden. 

Outs.de of the garden by the fence that separated it from 
the meadow stood an immense thistle; an uncommonly 
large and fine thistle, with several branches spreading out 
just above the root, and altogether, it was so strong and full 
as to make it well worthy of the name of thistle-bush. No 
one even noticed it, save the old donkey that pulled the milk- 
cart for the dairymaids ; he stood grazing in the meadow 
hard by, and stretched his old neck to reach the thistle, say- 
ing, " You are beautiful ! I should like to eat you ! ' but the 
tether was too short to admit of his reaching the thistle, so 
that he did not eat it. 

There was company staying at " the Hall," fine, aristo- 
:ratic relations from town ; graceful, lovely girls ; and among 
.hem a young lady who had come from " foreign parts," all 
the way from Scotland. She was of old and noble family, 
.ind rich in gold and lands ; a bride well worth the winning, 
thought more than one of the young men, and their mothers 
thought so too ! 

Th young people were amusing themselves on the lawn, 
playing croquet ; they flitted about among the flowers, and 
each of the young girls gathered one, and put it in one of the 
gentlemen's button-holes ; but the young Scotch lady looked 
all about for a flower, but none of them seemed to please her, 
till, all at once, happening to glance over the fence, she spied 



122 STORIES AND TALES 

the fine large thistle-bush standing there, full of its bluish-red, 
healthy looking flowers. She saw it, and smiled, and begged 
the son of the house to get one of them for her. 

" That is Scotland's flower," she said ; " it grows and blos- 
soms in our Arms ; that flower give me." 

And he gathered the finest of the thistle-flowers, and pricked 
his fingers as much in doing so, as if it had been growing 01 
a wild rose-bush. 

She took the flower, and put it in his button-hole, and he 
felt greatly honored thereby. Each of the other young men 
would gladly have given up his graceful garden flower, if he 
might have worn the one given by the delicate hands of thr 
Scotch girl. The son of the house felt the honor conferred 
upon him to be great, but the Thistle felt it still more ; it 
seemed to feel dew and sunshine going through it ! 

" It seems I am of more consequence than I thought," it 
said to itself; "I ought by rights to stand inside, and not 
outside the fence ; one gets strangely placed in this world. 
But now I have at least one of mine over the fence ; and not 
only there, but in a button-hole ! ' 

To every bud that came and opened on the Thistle-bush, it 
told this great event ; and not many days had passed before 
she heard not from the people passing, nor yet from the 
twittering of little birds, but from the air, that treasures up 
and gives out sounds far and wide, from the most shady 
walks of the beautiful garden, as well as from the most distant 
rooms at " the Hall," where doors and windows were left 
open that the young man who received the thistle-flower 
from the graceful hands of the lovely Scottish maiden, had 
now got her hand and heart as well. It was a fine couple, 
and a " good match." 

" That is my doing ! " said the Thistle, thinking of the 
flower that it had given to the button-hole. And every new 
fiov/ei that came was told of the wonderful event. 

" Surely I shall be taken up and planted in the garden 
now ! ' thought the Thistle ; " perhaps, even, I shall be put 
in a flower-pot as a ' clincher,' < that is by far the most hon- 
orable position." And it thought of this so long, that it ended 
by saying to itself, with the firm conviction of that being tfa 
fruth, " I shall be planted in a flower-pot J " 




WHAT HAPPENED TO THE THISTLE. See page 121- 



WHAT HAPPENED TO THE THISTLE. I 23 

It promised to every little bud that came, that it also should 
be put in a pot, and perhaps even be promoted to a place in a 
button-hole, that being the very highest one could aspire 
to, but. notwithstanding, none of them got into a flower-pot, 
and still less into a button-hole. 

They lived on light and air, and drank sunshine in the day, 
and dew at night ; received visits from bee and hornet, who 
came to look for the dower, the honey in the flower, and 
they took the honey, but left the flower. 

" The good-for-nothing fellows," said the Thistle-bush. " I 
wish I could pierce them as on a spit ! but I cannot." 

The flowers drooped and faded, but there always came new 
ones. 

" You come as if you had been sent here," said the Thistle- 
bush to them. " I am expecting every moment to be taken 
over the fence." 

A couple of harmless daisies, and a huge, thin plant of 
canary-grass, listened to this with deep respect, and believed 
all they heard. The old donkey that had to pull the milk- 
cart cast longing looks toward the blooming thistle, and 
tried to reach it, but his tether was too short ! And the 
Thistle-bush thought and thought, so much and so long, of 
the Scotch thistle, to whom it believed itself related, till 
at last it fancied that it had come from Scotland, and that it 
was its parents who had grown into the Scotch Arms. 

It was a great thought, but a great thistle may well have 
great thoughts. 

" Sometimes one is of such noble race, that one may not 
know it," said the Nettle, growing close by, it had a kind 
of presentiment that it might be turned into muslin, if properly 
treated. 

The summer passed, and the autumn passed ; the leaves 
fell off the trees ; the flowers came with stronger colors and 
less perfume ; the gardener's lads sang on the other side of 

the fence, 

" Up the hill, and down the hill, 
That's the way of the world still," 

The young pine-trees in the wood began to feel a longing 
for Christmas, but Christmas was a long way off yet I 



124 



STORIES AND TALES. 



" Here I am still," said the Thistle. " It seems that I am 
quite forgotten ; and yet it was I who made the match ! They 
were engaged, and now they are married, the wedding wai 
a week ago. I do not make a single step forward, for I 
cannot." 

Some weeks passed ; the Thistle had its last solitary flower 
large and full it was, and growing down near the root. The 
wind blew coldly over it, the color faded away, and all its 
gorgeousness disappeared, leaving only the cup of the flower, 
now as large as the flower of an artichoke, and glistening like 
a silvered sunflower. 

The young couple came along the garden-path, and they 
were man and wife ; they passed near the fence, and the bride, 
glancing over it, said, " Why, there stands the large thistle ! 
it has no flowers now." 

" Yes, there is still the ghost of one of the last," said her 
husband, pointing to the silvery remains of the last flower, 
a flower in itself. 

" How beautiful it is ! " she said. " We must have such a 
one carved in the frame of our picture." 

And once more the young man had to get over the fence, to 
break off the silvery cup of the thistle-flower. It pricked his 
fingers for his pains, because he had called it a ghost. And 
then it was brought into the garden, and to "the Hall," and 
into the drawing-room. There stood a large picture, the 
portraits of the young couple ; in the bridegroom's button- 
hole was painted a thistle, and they talked of it, and of the 
flower-cup they brought in with them, the last, now silver- 
shimmering thistle-flower, that was to be imitated in the carv- 
ing of the frame. 

And the air took all their words, and scattered them about, 
far and wide. 

" What strange things happen to one," said the Thistle- 
bush. " My first-born went to live in a button-hole ; my last- 
born in a frame ! I wonder what is to become of me ? ' : 

And the old donkey, standing by the road-side, cast side- 
long and loving glances at the Thistle, and said, " Come t3 
me, my sweetheart, for I cannot go to you, my tether is too 
short 1 " 



WHAT HAPPENED I'O THE TXISTLE. 

the Thistle-bush made no answer. It grew more a.id 
knore thoughtful, and it thought as far ahead as Christmas, 
till its budding thoughts opened into flower. 

*' When one's children are safely housed, a mother is ^uite 
intent to remain beyond the fence, in the cold ! r 

"That is a most respectable thought," said the Sunshfo* 
to &nd never fear but you also shall be well placed." 

*' In a flower-pot, or in a frame ? " asked the Thistlfi. 

" In a story," answered the Sunshine. 

Acd here it U ! 






THE STORY OF THE YEAR. 

IT was far in January, and a terrible fall of snow was pelting 
down. The snow eddied through the streets and lanes ; 
the window-panes seemed plastered with snow on the outside 
snow plumped down in masses from the roofs : and a suddeu 
hurry had seized on the people, for they ran, and jostled, and 
fell into each other's arms, and as they clutched each other 
fast for a moment, they felt that they were safe at least for 
that length of time. Coaches and horses seemed frosted with 
sugar. The footmen stood with their backs against the car 
riages, so as to turn their faces from the wind. The foot pas- 
sengers kept in the shelter of the carriages, which could oniy 
move slowly on in the deep snow ; and when the storm at last 
abated, and a narrow path was swept clean alongside the 
houses, the people stood still in this path when they met, for 
none liked to take the first step aside into the deep snow to 
let the other pass him. Thus they stood silent and motionless, 
till, as if by tacit consent, each sacrificed one leg, and step- 
ping aside, buried it in the deep snow-heap. 

Towards evening it grew calm. The sky looked as if it had 
been swept, and had become more lofty and transparent. The 
stars looked as if they were quite new, and some of them 
were amazingly bright and pure. It froze so hard that the 
snow creaked, and the upper rind of snow might well have 
grown hard enough to bear the Sparrows in the morning dawn. 
These little birds hopped up and down where the sweeping 
had been done ; but they found very little food, and were not 
a little cold. 

" Piep ! ' ' said one of them to another : " they call this a 
new year, and it is worse than the last ! We might just as 
well have kept the old one. I'm dissatisfied, and I've a right 
o be so." 

" Yes ; and the people ran about and fired off shots to ce*> 



THE STORY OF 7*HE YEAR. 27 

ebrate the New Year," said a shivering little Sparrow ; " and 
they threw pans and pots against the doors, and were quite 
boisterous with joy because the Old Year was gone. I was 
glad of it too, because I hoped we should have had warm 
days ; but that has come to nothing it freezes much hairier 
than before. People have made a mistake in reckoning the 
time ! " 

" That they have ! "' a third put in, who was old, and had a 
white poll : ' : they've something they call the calendar- it 9 
an invention of their own and everything is to be arranged 
according to that ; but it won't do. When spring comes, thea 
the year begins, and I reckon according to that." 

" But when will spring come ? " the others inquired. 

" It will come when the stork comes back. But his move- 
ments are very uncertain, and here in town no one knows any 
thing about it : in the country they are better informed. Shah 
we fly out there and wait ? There, at any rate, we shall bs 
nearer to spring." 

" Yes, that may be all very well," observed one of the Spar- 
rows, who had been hopping about for a long time, chirping, 
without saying anything decided. " I've found a few comforts 
here in town, which I am afraid I should miss out in the coun- 
try. Near this neighborhood, in a court-yard, there lives a family 
of people, who have taken the very sensible notion of placing 
three or four flower-pots against the wall, with their mouths all 
turned inward, and the bottom of each pointing outward. In 
each flower-pot a hole has been cut, big enough for me to 
fly in and out at. I and my husband have built a nest in 
one of those pots, and have brought up our young family 
there. The family of people of course made the whole ar- 
rangement that they might have the pleasure of seeing us, or 
else they would not have done it. To please themselves they 
,i!so strew crumbs of bread ; and so we have food, and are 
In a manner provided for. So I think my husband and I will 
stay where we are, although we are very dissatisfied but w* 
ihall stay." 

** And we will fly into the country to see if spring is not 
coming ! '' 

And away they flew. 



128 STORIES AND TALES. 

Out in the country it was hard winter, and the glass was a 
few degrees lower than in the town. The sharp winds swep* 
across the snow-covered fields. The farmer, muffled in warm 
mittens, sat in his sledge, and beat his arms across his breast 
to warm himself, and the whip lay across his knees. Thg 
horses ran till they smoked again. The snow creaked, and 
the Sparrows hopped about in the ruts, and shivered, *' Piep 1 
when will spring come ? it is very long in coming ! " 

" Very long," sounded from the next snow-covered hill, far 
ovei the field. It might be the echo which was heard ; or 
perhaps the words were spoken by yonder wonderful old man, 
who sat in wind and weather high on the heap of snow. He 
was quite white, attired like a peasant in a coarse white coat 
of frieze ; he had long white hair, and was quite pale, with 
big blue eyes. 

" Who is that old man yonder ? "' asked the Sparrows. 

" I know who he is," quoth an old Raven, who sat on the 
fence-rail, and was condescending enough to acknowledge that 
we are all like little birds in the sight of Heaven, and there- 
fore was not above speaking to the Sparrows, and giving them 
information. " I know who the old man is. It is Winter, the 
old man of last year. He is not dead, as the calendar says, 
but is guardian to little Prince Spring, who is to come. Yes, 
Winter bears sway here. Ugh ! the cold makes you shiver, 
does it not, you little ones ? ' 

" Yes. Did I not tell the truth ? " said the smallest Spar- 
row : " the calendar is only an invention of man, and is not 
arranged according to nature ! They ought to leave these 
things to us, who are born cleverer than they." 

And one week passed away, and two passed away. The 
*rozen lake lay hard and stiff, looking like a sheet of lead, 
and damp icy mists lay brooding over the land ; the great 
black crows flew about in long rows, but silently ; and it 
seemed as if nature slept. Then a sunbeam glided along over 
the lake, and made it shine like burnished tin. The snowy 
covering on the field and on the hill did not glitter as it had 
done ; but the white form, Winter himself, still sat there, his 
gaze fixed unswervingly upon the south. He did not notice 
that the snowy carpet seemed to sink as it were into the earth, 



THE STORY OF THE YEAR. 129 

and chat here and there a little grass-green patch appeared, 
and that a)l these patches were crowded with Sparrows which 
cried, " Kee-wit ! kee-wit ! Is spring coming now ? ' : 

" Spring ! ' The cry resounded over field and meadow, and 
through the black-brown woods, where the moss still glim- 
mered in bright green upon the tree trunks ; and from the 
south the first two storks came flying through the air. On (he 
back of each sat a pretty little child one was a gir] and Lhe 
other a boy. They greeted the earth with a kiss, and wherever 
they set their feet, white flowers grew up from beneath the snow. 
Then they went hand in hand to the old ice man, Winter, 
clung to his breast embracing him, and in a moment they and 
he, and all the region around were hidden in a thick damp 
mist, dark and heavy, that closed over all like a veil. Gradu- 
ally the wind rose, and now it rushed roaring along, and drove 
away the mist with heavy blows, so that the sun shone warmly 
forth, and Winter himself vanished, and the beautiful children 
of Spring sat on the throne of the year. 

" That 's what I call spring," cried each of the Sparrows. 
" Now we shall get our rights, and have amends for the stern 



winter/ 



Wherever the two children turned, green buds burst forth on 
bushes and trees, the grass shot upward, and the corn-fields 
turned green and became more and more lovely. And the 
little maiden strewed flowers all around. Her apron, which 
she held up before her, was always full of them ; they seemed 
to spring up there, for her lap continued full, however zealous- 
ly she strewed the blossoms around ; and in her eagerness she 
scattered a snow of blossoms over apple-trees and peach- 
trees, so that they stood in full beauty before their green 
leaves had fairly come forth. 

And she clapped her hands, and the boy clapped his, and 
then flocks of birds came flying up, nobody knew whence, and 
they all twittered and sang, " Spring has come." 

Tbat was beautiful to behold. Many an old granny crept 
r orth over the threshold into the sunshine, and tripped glee- 
fully about, casting a glance at the yellow flowers which shrme 
everywhere in the fields, just as they used to do when she 

Q 



STORIES AND TALES. 

young. The world grew young again to her, and she said, 
w It is a blessed day out here to-day ! ' 

The forest still wore its brown-green dress, made of buds , 
but the thyme was already there, fresh and fragrant ; there 
were violets in plenty, anemones and primroses came forth, 
and there was sap and strength in every blade of grass. That 
was certainly a beautiful carpet on which no one could resist 
sitting down, and there accordingly the young spring pair sat 
hand in hand, and sang and smiled, and grew on. 

A mild rain fell down upon them from the sky, but they did 
not notice it, for the rain-drops were mingled with their own 
tears of joy. They kissed each other, and were betrothed as 
people that should marry, and in the same moment the ver- 
dure of the woods was unfolded, and when the sun rose, the 
forest stood there arrayed in green. 

And hand in hand the betrothed pair wandered under the 
pendent ocean of fresh leaves, where the rays of the sun 
gleamed through the interstices in lovely, ever-changing hues. 
What virgin purity, what refreshing balm in the delicate 
leaves ! The brooks and streams rippled clearly and merrily 
among the green velvety rushes and over the colored pebbles. 
All nature seemed to say, " There is plenty, and there shall 
be plenty always ! ' And the cuckoo sang and the lark car- 
oled : it was a charming spring ; but the willows had woolly 
gloves over their blossoms : they were desperately careful, 
and that is wearisome. 

And days went by and weeks went by, and the heat came 
as it were whirling down. Hot waves of air came through 
the corn, that became yellower and yellower. The white 
vater-lily of the North spread its great green leaves over the 
glassy mirror of the woodland lakes, and the fishes sought 
out the shady spots beneath ; and at the sheltered side of the 
wood, where the sun shone down upon the walls of the farm- 
house, warming the blooming roses, and the cherry-trees, 
which hung full of juicy black berries, almost hot with the 
fierce beams, there sat the lovely wife of Summer, the same 
being whom we huv^e seen as a child and as a bride : and hei 
glance was fixed upon the black gathering clouds, which ir 
*avy outlines blue-black and heavy were piling then* 



THE STORY OF THE YEAR. 131 

ieives up, .ike mountains, higher and higher. They came 
from three sides, and growing like a petrified sea, they came 
swooping toward the forest, where every sound had been 
silerced as if by magic. Every breath of air was hushed, 
eveiy bird was mute. There was a seriousness a susperibe 
throughout all nature ; but in the highways and lanes, foot 
passengers, and riders, and men in carriages were hurrying on 
to get under shelter. Then suddenly there was a flashing of 
Tight, as if the sun were burst forth flaming, burning, all- 
devouring ! And the darkness returned amid a rolling crash. 
The rain poured down in streams, and there was alternate 
darkness and blinding light ; alternate silence and deafening 
clamor. The young, brown, feathery reeds on the moor 
moved to and frc in long waves ; the twigs of the woods were 
hidden in a mist of waters, and still came darkness and light, 
and still silence and roaring followed one another ; the grass 
and corn lay beaten down and swamped, looking as though 
they could never raise themselves again. But soon the rain 
fell only in gentle drops, the sun peered through the clouds, 
the water-drops glittered like pearls on the leaves, the birds 
sang, the fishes leaped up from the surface of the lake, the 
gnats danced in the sunshine, and yonder on the rock, in the 
salt heaving sea-water, sat Summer himself a strong *- .m 
with sturdy limbs and long dripping hair there he sat, 
strengthened by the cool bath, in the warm sunshine. All 
nature round about was renewed, everything stood luxuriant, 
Strong and beautiful ; it was summer, warm, lovely summer. 

And pleasant and sweet was the fragrance that streamed 
upward from the rich clover-field, where the bees swarmed 
round the old ruined place of meeting : the bramble wound 
itself around the altar stone, which, washed by the rain, glit- 
.ered in the sunshine ; and thither flew the Queen-bee with 
her swarm, and prepared wax and honey. Only Summer saw 
it, ne and his strong wife ; for them the altar table stood 
covered with the offerings o f nature. 

And the evening sky shone like gold, shone as no church 
dome can shine ; and in the interval between the evening and 
the morning red there was moonlight : it was summer. 

And days went by, and weeks went by. The bright scythes 



132 STORIES AND TALES. 

of the reapers gleamed in the corn-fields ; the branches of the 
apple-trees bent down, heavy with red-and-yellow fruit. Th<s 
hops smelt sweetly, hanging in large clusters ; and under the 
hazel bushes where hung great bunches of nuts, rested a man 
and woman Summer and his quiet consort. 

" What wealth ! ' exclaimed the woman : " all around a 
blessing is diffused, everywhere the scene looks homelike and 
good ; and yet I know not why I long for peace and 
rest I know not how to express it. Now they are already 
ploughing again in the field. The people want to gain more 
and more. See, the storks flock together, and follow at a 
little distance behind the plough the bird of Egypt that 
carried us through the air. Do you remember how we came 
as children to this land of the North? We brought with us 
flowers, and pleasant sunshine, and green to the woods ; the 
wind has treated them roughly, and they have become dark 
and brown like the trees of the South, but they do not, like 
them, bear fruit." 

" Do you wish to see the golden fruit ? " said Summer : 
" then rejoice." 

And he lifted his arm, and the leaves of the forest put on 
hues of red and gold, and beauteous tints spread over all the 
woodland. The rose-bush gleamed with scarlet hips ; the 
elder branches hung down with great heavy bunches of dark 
berries ; the wild chestnuts fell ripe from their dark husks ; 
and in the depths of the forests the violets bloomed for th 
second time. 

But the Queen of the Year became more and more silert, 
%nd paler and paler. 

"It blows cold," she said, "and night brings damp mists, 
I long for the land of my childhood." 

And she saw the storks fly away, one and all ; and she 
stretched forth her hands toward them. She looked up at 
the nests, which stood empty. In one of them the long- 
stalked cornflower was growing ; in another, the yellow mu* 
Sard-seed, as if the nest were only there for its protection 
and the Sparrows were flying up into the storks' nests. 

" Piep ! where has the master gone ? I suppose he can't 
bear it when the wind blows, and that therefore he has ?efi 
vhe country. I wish him a pleasant journey ! " 



THE STORY OF THE YEAR. 133 

The forest leaves became more and more yellow, leaf fell 
,iown upon leaf, and the stormy winds of autumn howled. 
The year was now far advanced, and the Queen of the Year 
:eclined upon the fallen yellow leaves, and looked with mild 
2yes at the gleaming star, and her husband stood by her. A 
just swept through the leaves, which fell again in a shower, 
ind the Queen was gone, but a butterfly, the last of the season, 
-lew through the cold air. 

The wet fogs came, an icy wind blew, and the long dark 
nights drew on apace. The Ruler of the Year stood there 
with locks white as snow, but he knew not it was his hair that 
gleamed so white he thought snow-flakes were falling from 
the clouds ; and soon a thin covering of snow was spread over 
the fields. 

And tnen the church bells rang for the Christmas-time. 

" The bells ring for the new-born," said the Ruler of the 
Year. " Soon the new King and Queen will be born ; and 
I shall go to rest, as my wife has done to rest in the gleam- 
ing star." 

And in the fresh green fir wood, where the snow lay, stood 
the Angel of Christmas, and consecrated the young trees that 
were to adorn his feast. 

" May there be joy in the room and under the green boughs," 
said the Ruler of the Year. In a few weeks he had become a 
very old man, white as snow. " My time for rest draws near, 
and the young pair of the year shall now receive my crown 
j.nd sceptre. 

" But the might is still thine," said the Angel of Christmas ; 
" the might and not the rest. Let the snow lie warmly upon 
the young seed. Learn to bear it, that another receives hom- 
age while thou yet reignest. Learn to bear being forgotten 
while thou art yet alive. The hour of thy release will come 
when spring appears." 

" And when will spring come ? " asked Winter. 

" It will come when the stork returns." 

And with white locks and snowy beard, cold, bent, and 
iiDary, but strong as the wintry storm and firm as ice, old 
Winter sat on the snowy drift on the hill, looking toward the 
outh, where he had before sat and gazed. The ic3 cracked. 



134 



STORIES AND TALES. 



the snow creaked, the skaters skimmed to and fro o.i the 
smooth lakes, ravens and crows contrasted picturesquely with 
the white ground, and not a breath of wind stirred. And in 
the quiet air old Winter clinched his fists, and the ice was 
fathoms thick between land and land. 

Then the Sparrows came again out of the town, and asked, 
"Who is that old man yonder? ' 

And the Raven sat there again, or a son of his, which comes 
to quite the same thing, and answered them and said, " It is 
Winter, the old man of last year. He is not dead, as the 
almanac says, but he is the guardian of Spring, who is 
coming." 

" When will spring come ? '' asked the Sparrows. " Then 
we shall have good times and a better rule. The old one was 
worth nothing." 

And Winter nodded in quiet thought at the leafless forest, 
where every tree showed the graceful form and bend of its 
twigs ; and during the winter sleep the icy mists of the clouds 
came down, and the ruler dreamed of his youthful days, and 
of the time of his manhood ; and toward the morning dawn 
the whole wood was clothed in glittering hoar-frost. That 
was the summer dream of Winter, and the sun scattered the 
hoar frost from the boughs. 

" When will spring come ? " asked the Sparrows. 

" The spring ! " sounded like an echo from the hills on 
which the snow lay. The sun shone warmer, the snow melted) 
and the birds twittered, " Spring is coming ! ' 

And aloft through the air came the first stork, and the sec 
ond followed him. A lovely child sat on the back of each, 
and they alighted on the field, kissed the earth, and kissed 
the old silent man, and he disappeared, shrouded in the cloudj 
mist. And the story of the year was done. 

"That is all very well," said the Sparrows; "it is veiy 
beautiful too, but it is not according to the almanac, and 
therefore it is irregular." 



THE LOVELIEST ROSE IN THE 

ONCE there reigned a Queen, in whose garden were found 
the most glorious flowers at all seasons and from all the 
lands in the world ; but especially she loved roses, and therefore 
she possessed the most various kinds of this flower, from the 
wild dog-rose, with the apple-scented green leaves, to the most 
splendid Provence rose. They grew against the earth walls, 
wound themselves round pillars and window-frames, into the 
passages, and all along the ceiling in all the halls. And the 
roses were various in fragrance, form, and color. 

But care and sorrow dwelt in these halls : the Queen lay 
upon a sick-bed, and the doctors declared that she must die 

" There is still one thing that can serve her," said the wisest 
of them. " Bring her the loveliest rose in the world, the one 
which is the expression of the brightest and purest love ; for 
if that is brought before her eyes ere they close, she will not 
die." 

And young and old came from every side with roses, the 
loveliest that bloomed in each garden ; but they were not the 
right sort. The flower was to be brought out of the garden 
of Love ; but what rose was it there that expressed the high- 
est and purest love ? 

And the poets sang of the loveliest rose in the world, and 
each one named his own ; and intelligence was sent far round 
the land to every heart that beat with love, to every class and 
condition, and to every age. 

" No one has till now named the flower," said the wise maa 
" No one has pointed out the place where it bloomed in it? 
. They are not the roses from the coffin of Romeo 
Juliet, or from the Walburg's grave, though these roses 
mil be ever fragrant in song. They are not the roses that 
sprouted forth from Winkelried's blood-stained lances, from 
the blood that flows in a sacred cause from the breast cf the 



STORIES AND TALES. 

hero who dies for his country ; though no death is sveetei 
than this, and no rose redder than the blood that flows then. 
Nor is it that wondrous flower, to cherish which man devotes, 
in a quiet chamber, many a sleepless night, and much of his 
fresh life the magic flower of science." 

" I know where it blooms," said a happy mother, who came 
with her pretty child to the bed-side of the Queen. " 1 know 
vhere the loveliest rose of the world is found ! The rose that 
is the expression of the highest and purest love springs from 
the blooming cheeks of my sweet child when, strengthened by 
sleep, it opens its eyes and smiles at me with all its affec- 
tion ! " 

" Lovely is this rose ; but there is still a lovelier," said the 
wise man. 

" Yes, a far lovelier one," said one of the women. " I have 
seen it, and a loftier, purer rose does not bloom. I saw it on 
the cheeks of the Queen. She had taken off her golden 
crown, and in the long dreary night she was carrying her sick 
child in her arms : she wept, kissed it, and prayed for her 
child as a mother prays in the hour of her anguish." 

" Holy and wonderful in its might is the white rose of grief ; 
but it is not the one we seek." 

" No, the loveliest rose of the world I saw at the altar ol 
the Lord," said tne good old Bishop. I saw it shine as if an 
angel's face had appeared. The young maidens went to the 
Lord's Table, and renewed the promise made at their baptism, 
ind roses were blushing, and pale roses shining on their fresh 
i heeks. A young girl stood there ; she looked with all the 
purity and love of her young spirit up to heaven : that was 
the expression of the highest and the purest love." 

" May she be blessed ! " said the wise man ; " but not one 
of you has yet named to me the loveliest rose of the world." 

Then there came into the room a child, the Queen's little 
son. Tears stood in his eyes and glistened on his cheeks 
he carried a great open book, and the binding was of velvet, 
with great silver clasps. 

" Mother! " cried the boy, "only hear what I have read." 

And the child sat by the bed-side, and read from the book 
of Him who suffered death on the cross to save men, and 
even those who were not yet born. 



THE LOVELIEST ROSE IN THE WORLD. 137 

" Greater love there is not " 

And a roseate hue spread over the cheeks of the Queen, 
and her eyes gleamed, for she saw that from the leaves of The 
book there bloomed the loveliest rose, that sprang from the 
blood of Christ shed on the cross. 

" I see it ! ' she said : "he who beholds this, che lovelies* 
rose Oil earth shall never die." 



A PICTURE FROM THE CASTLE RAMPARTS. 

IT is autumn ; we stand on the Castle Ramparts and look 
out across the sea with its many ships to the Swedish 
coast rising beyond, bright in the evening sunshine. Behind 
us the rampart descends abruptly ; magnificent trees, whose 
yellow leaves are falling fast, grow below, and behind them are 
certain close-built, dull-looking houses with wooden palisades ; 
a dreary walk has the sentinel who paces to and fro among 
them, but still drearier and darker must it be within those 
grated windows, for there dwell convict slaves, the worst of 
criminals. 

A beam from the setting sun strays into the bare chamber, 
for the sun shines alike on the evil and on the good. The 
sullen, savage felon gazes gloomily on the cold sunbeam. A 
little bird flies upon the grating ; his song, too, is for the evil 
as for the good. " Quirrevit ! ' his song is a brief one, but 
he remains perched on the grating ; he flaps his wings, plumes 
his feathers, one tiny feather falls off, the others he ruffles up 
round his neck. And the chained criminal looks on, and a 
softer expression passes over his hard, coarse features, a feel- 
ing he is scarcely conscious of springs up within his heart, a 
feeling in some way akin to the sunbeam that has darted 
through the trellis, and the fragrance of the violets that in the 
spring cluster so abundantly outside his prison. But now 
sounds the horn of some home-bound huntsman ; clear, 
strong, and lively are the notes. Away from the grating flies 
the bird, from the bare wall fades away the sunbeam, and all 
is dark again within the chamber, dark again in the convict's 
heart. But, thank Heaven ! the sun has shone therein, the 
bird's song has been heard, though but for one minute. 

Die not away so soon, ye sweet, clear tones from the hunts- 
man's horn ! The evening is mild, the sea calm and smooth 
as a mirror. 



THE ELDER TREE MOTHER. 

was once a little boy who had caught cold ; be had 
JL gone out and got wet feet ; no one could imagine how 
it had happened, for it was quite dry weather. Now nis mother 
undressed him, put him to bed, and had the tea-urn brcught 
in to make him a good cup of elder tea, for that warms well. 
At *he same time there also came in at the door the friendly 
old man who lived all alone at the top of the house, and was 
very solitary. He had neither wife nor children, but he was 
very fond of little children, and knew so many stories that it 
was quite delightful. 

" Now you are to drink your tea," said the mother, " and 
then perhaps you will hear a story." 

" Ah ! if one only could tell a new one ! " said the old man, 
with a friendly nod. " But where did the little man get his 
wet feet ? " he asked. 

" Yes," replied the mother, " no one can tell how that came 
about." 

" Shall I have a story ? *' asked the boy. 

" Yes, if you can tell me at all accurately for I must know 
that first how deep the gutter is in the little street through 
which you go to school." 

" Just half way up to my knee," answered the boy, " that 
is, if I put my feet in the deep hole." 

" You see. that's how we get our feet wet," said the old 
gentleman. " Now I ought certainly to tell you a story ; but 
I don't know any more." 

" You can make up one directly," answered the little boy. 
v Mother says that everything you look at can be turned into 
a story, and that you can make a tale of everything you 
touch." 

" Yes, but those stories and tales are worth nothing! No, 
the real ones come of themselves. They knock at my 
head and sav, ' Here I am ! ' " 



14O STORIES AND TALES. 

" Will there soon be a knock ? " asked the little boy, and 

the mother laughed, and put elder tea in the pot, and poured 
hot water upon it. 

'' A story ! a story ! ' : 

"Yes if a story would come of itself; but that kind of 
thing is very grand ; it only comes when it 's in the humor. 
Wait ! " he cried all at once ; " here we have it Look you , 
tlit're's one in the tea-pot now." 

And the little boy looked across at the tea-pot. The HG 
raised itself more and more, and the elder flowers came forth 
from it, white and fresh ; they shot forth long fresh branches 
even out of the spout, they spread abroad in all directions, 
and became larger and larger ; there was the most glorious 
elder bush in fact, quite a great tree. It penetrated even 
to the bed, and thrust the curtains aside ; how fragrant it was, 
and how it bloomed ! And in the midst of the tree sat an 
old, pleasant-looking woman in a strange dress. It was quite 
green, like the leaves of the elder-tree, and bordered with 
gresu white elder blossoms ; one could not at once discern 
whether this border was of stuff or of living green and real 
flowers. 

" What is the woman's name ? " the little boy asked. 

" The Romans and Greeks," replied the old man, " used to 
call her a Dryad ; but we don't understand that : out in the 
sailors' suburb we have a better name for her; there she's 
called Elder Tree Mother, and it is to her you must pa)' at- 
tention : only listen, and look at that glorious elder-tree. 

" Just such a great blooming tree stands outside ; it grew 
there in the corner of a poor little yard, and under this tree 
iwo old people sat one afternoon in the brightest sunshine, 
It was an old, old sailor, and his old, old wife ; they had great 
grandchildren, and were soon to celebrate their golden wed- 
ding ; 1 but they could not quite make out the date, and the 
Elder Tree Mother sat in the tree and looked pleased, just as 
she does here. ' I know very well when the golden wedding 
's to be,' said she ; but they did not hear it they were talk- 
*ng of old times. 

1 The golden wedding is celebrated in several countries of the Conti- 
Jnent, by the wedded pairs who survive to see the fiftieth anniversary 
<f their marriage-day. 



THE ELDER TREE MOTHER. 141 

" 'Yes, do you remember/ said the old seaman, 'when wa 
were quite lictle, and ran about and played together ! .t was in 
the very same yard where we are sitting now, and we planted 
little twigs in the yard, and made a garden." 

" * Yes,' replied the old woman, ' I remember it very well : 
we watered the twigs, and one of them was an elder twig ; 
that struck root, shot out other green twigs, and has become 
a great tree, under which we old people sit.' 

" ' Surely,' said he ; f and yonder in the corner stood a butt 
of water ; there I swam my boat ; I had cut it out myself. 
How it could sail ! But I certainly soon had to sail elsewhere 
myself.' 

" ' But first we went to school and learned something,' said 
she, ' and then we were confirmed ; we both cried, but in the 
afternoon we went hand in hand to the round tower, and 
looked out into the wide world, over Copenhagen and across 
the water ; then we went out to Fredericksberg, where the 
the King and Queen were sailing in their splendid boats upon 
the canals.' 

" ( But I was obliged to sail elsewhere, and that for many 
years, far away on long voyages.' 

" ' Yes, I often cried about you,' she said. ' I thought you 
were dead and gone, and lying down in the deep waters, 
rocked by the waves. Many a night I got up to look if the 
weathercock was turning. Yes, it turned indeed ; but you did 
not come. I remember so clearly how the rain streamed 
down from the sky. The man with the cart who fetched away 
the dust came to the place where I was in service. I went 
down with him to the dust-bin, and remained standing in the 
doorway. What wretched weather it was ! And just as I 
stood there the postman came up and gave me a letter. It 
was from you ! How that letter had travelled about ! I tore 
it open and read ; I laughed and wept at once, I was so glad. 
There it stood written that you were in the warm countries 
where the coffee-beans grow. You told me so much, and I 
read it all the while the rain was streaming down, and I stood 
by the dustbin. Then somebody came and clasped me around 
the waist.' 

" ' And you gave him a terrible box on the ear one that 
kounded ? ' 



142 STORIES AND TALES. 

"'I dia not know that it was you. You had arrived jusl 
as quickly as your letter. And you were so handsome ; but 
that you are still. You had a large yellow silk handkerchief 
in your pocket, and a hat on your head. You were so hand- 
some ! And, gracious ! what weather it was, and how the 
street looked ! ' 

" ' Then we were married,' said he ; ' do you remember ? 
And then when our first little boy came, and then Marie, and 
Neils, and Peter, and Jack, and Christian ? ' 

" l Yes, and how all these have grown up to be respectable 
people, and every one likes them.' 

" 4 And their children have had little ones in their turn,' said 
the old sailor. ' Yes, those are children's children ! They're 
of the right sort. It was, if I don't mistake, at this very sea- 
son of the year that we were married ? ' 

" * Yes ; this is the day of your golden wedding,' said the 
Elder Tree Mother, putting out her head just between the 
two old people ; and they thought it was a neighbor nodding 
to them, and they looked at each other, and took hold of one 
another's hands. 

" Soon afterwards came their children and grandchildren ; 
these knew very well that it was the golden wedding-day - t 
they had already brought their congratulations in the morn- 
ing, but the old people had forgotten it, while they remem- 
bered everything right well that had happened years and years 
ago. 

" And the elder-tree smelt so sweet, and the sun that was 
now setting shone just in the faces of the old couple, so that 
their cheeks looked quite red ; and the youngest of their 
grandchildren danced about them, and cried out quite glee- 
fully that there was to be a feast this evening, for they were 
to have hot potatoes ; and the Elder Mother nodded in tha 
tree, and called out * Hurra ! ' with all the rest." 

" But that was not a story," said the little boy who had 
heard it told 

"Yes, so you understand it," replied the old man; "but 
let us ask the Elder Mother about it." 

u That was not a story," said the Elder mother ; "but now 
it comes ; but of truth the strangest stories are formed, other 



THE ELDER TREE MOTHER. 143 

wise my beautiful elder-tree could not have sprouted forth 
out of the tea-pot." 

And then she took the little boy out of bed, and laid him 
upon her bosom, and the blossoming elder branches wound 
';ound them, so that they sat as it were in the thickest arbor, 
ind this arbor flew away with them through the air. It was 
indescribably beautiful. Elder Mother all at once became & 
pretty young girl ; but her dress was still of the green stuff 
with the white blossoms that Elder Mother had woin ; in her 
bosom she had a real elder blossom, and on her head a wreath 
of elder flowers ; her eyes were so large and blue, they were 
beautiful to look at ! She and the boy were of the same age, 
and they kissed each other and felt similar joys. 

Hand in hand they went forth out of the arbor, and now 
they stood in the beauteous flower garden of home. The 
father's staff was tied up near the fresh grass-plot, and for the 
little boy there was life in that staff. As soon as they seated 
themselves upon it, the polished head turned into a noble 
neighing horse's head, with a flowing mane, and four slender 
legs shot forth ; the creature was strong and spirited, and 
they rode at a gallop round the grass-plot hurra ! 

" Now we're going to ride many miles away," said the boy \ 
" we'll ride to the nobleman's estate, where we went last 
year ! " 

And they rode round and round the grass-plot, and the lit- 
tle girl, who, as we know, was no one else but Elder Mother, 
kept crying out, 

" Now we're in the country ! Do you see the farm-house, 
with the great baking oven standing out of the wall like an 
enormous egg by the way-side ? The elder-tree spread irs 
branches over it, and the cock walks about, scratching for his 
hens ; look how he struts ! Now we are near the church ; it 
Ues high up on the hill, under the great oak-trees, one of 
which is half dead. Now we are at the forge, where the fire 
burns and the half clad men beat with their hammers, so that 
the sparks fly far aroind. Away, away to the nobleman's 
Bpiendid seat ! ' 

And everything that the little maiden mentioned, as she sal 
on "-.he stick behind him, flew past them, and the little boy saw 



144 STORIES AND TALES. 

it all though they were only riding round and round tne gi ass- 
plot. Then they played in the side walk, and scratched up 
the earth to make a little garden ; and she took elder flowers 
out of her hair and planted them, and they grew just like 
those that the old people had planted when they were litfie, 
as has been already told. They went hand in hand just as 
the old people had done in their childhood; but not to the 
high tower, or to the Fredricksberg Garden. No, the little 
girl took hold of the boy round the body, and then they fle^ 
far away out into the country. 

And it was spring, and summer came, and autumn,, and win- 
ter, and thousands of pictures were mirrored in the boy's 
eyes and heart, and the little maiden was always singing to 
him. 

He will never forget that ; and throughout their whole jour- 
ney the elder-tree smelt so sweet, so fragrant : he noticed the 
roses and the fresh beech-trees ; but the elder-tree smelt 
stronger than all, for its flowers hung round the little girl's 
heart, and he often leaned against them as they flew onward. 

" Here it is beautiful in spring ! r> said the little girl. 

And they stood in the green beech wood, where the thyme 
lay spread in fragrance at their feet, and the pale pink anem- 
ones looked glorious among the vivid green. 

" O, that it were always spring in the merry green wood ! " 

" Here it is beautiful in summer ! " said she. 

And they passed by old castles of knightly days, castles 
whose high walls and pointed turrets were mirrored in the 
canals, where swans swam about, and looked down the old 
shady avenues. In the fields the corn waved like a sea, in 
the ditches yellow and red flowers were growing, and in the 
hedges wild hops and blooming convolvulus. In the evening 
the moon rose round and large, and the haystacks in the 
meadows smelt sweet. 

" Here it is beautiful in autumn ! " said the little girl. 

And the sky seemed twice as lofty and twice as blue as be- 
fore, and the forests were decked in the most gorgeous tints of 
-ed, yellow, and green. The hunting dogs raced about 
*rhole flocks of wild ducks flew screaming over the Huns 
Graves, on which bramble bushes twined over the old stones 



THE ELDER TREE MOTHER. 145 

The sea was dark blue, and covered with ships with white 
sails; and in the barns sat old women, gills, and childrea 
picking hops into a large tub : the young people sang songs, 
And the older ones told tales of magicians and goblins. It 
could not be finer anywhere. 

" Here it is beautiful in winter ! ' ' said the little girl. 

And all the trees were covered with hoar-frost, so that ihey 
looked like white trees of coral. The snow crumbled be- 
neath one's feet, as if every one had new boots on ; and one 
shooting star after another fell from the sky. In the room 
the Christmas tree was lighted up, and there were presents, 
and there was happiness. In the country people's farm- 
houses the violin sounded, and there were merry games for 
apples ; and even the poorest child said, " It is beautiful in 
winter ! " 

Yes, it was beautiful ; and the little girl showed the boy 
everything ; and still the blossoming tree smelt sweet, and 
still waved the red flag with the white cross, the flag under 
which the old seaman had sailed. The boy became a youth, 
and was to go out into the wide world, far away to the hot 
countries where the coffee grows. But when they were to 
part, the little girl took an elder blossom from her breast, and 
gave it to him to keep. It was laid in his hymn-book, and in 
the foreign land, when he opened the book, it was always at 
the place where the flower of Remembrance lay ; and the more 
he looked at the flower the fresher it became, so that he 
seemed, as it were, to breathe the forest aii of home ; then he 
plainly saw the little girl looking out with her clear blue eyes 
from between the petals of the flower, and then she whispered, 
" Here it is beautiful in spring, summer, autumn, and win- 
ter ! "' and hundreds of pictures glided through his thoughts. 

Thus many years went by, and now he was an old man, and 
sat with his old wife under the blossoming elder-tree : they 
were holding each other by the hand, just as the great grand- 
mother and great grandfather had done outside ; and, like 
these, they spoke of old times and of the golden wedding. 
The little maiden with the blue eyes and with the elder blos- 
soms in her hair sat up in the tree, and nodded to both of 

hem, and said, " To-day is :>ur golden wedding day ! " and then 

10 



146 STORIES AND 

she took two flowers out of her hair and kissed them, and 
they gleamed first like silver and then like gold, and when 
she laid them on the heads of the old people each changed 
into a golden crown. There they both sat, like a King and a 
Queen, under the fragrant tree which looked quite like ac 
elder bush ; and he told his old wife the story of the Eldei 
Tree Mother, as it had been told to him when he was quite a 
Jittle boy, and they both thought that the story in many ooints 
resembled their own, and those parts they liked the best. 

" Yes, thus it is ! " said the little girl in the tree. " Some 
call me Elder Tree Mother, others the Dryad, but my real 
name is Remembrance : it is I who sit in the tree that grows 
on and on, and I can think back and tell stories. Let me see 
if you have still your flower." 

And the old man opened his hymn-book ; there lay the 
elder blossom as fresh as if it had only just been placed 
there ; and Remembrance nodded, and the two old people 
with the golden crowns on their heads sat in the red evening 
sunlight, and they closed their eyes, and and the story 
was finished. 

The little boy lay in his bed and did not know whether he 
had been dreaming or had heard a tale told ; the tea-pot stood 
on the table, but no elder bush was growing out of it, and the 
old man who had told about it was just going out of the door, 
and indeed he went. 

" How beautiful that was ! ' :l said the little boy. " Mother, 
I have been in the hor countries." 

" Yes, I can imagine that ! " replied his mother. " When 
one drinks two cups of hot elder tea one very often gets into 
the hot countries ! ' And she covered him up well, that he 
might not take cold. " You have slept well while I disputed 
with him as to whether it was a story or a fairy tale.' 

"And where is the Elder Tree Mother? "' asked the little 
lad. 

" She 's in the tea-pot," replied his mother ; " and there sh* 
may stay.*' 



A VISION OF THE LAST DAY. 

OF all the days of our life the greatest and most solemi 
is the day on which we die. Hast thou ever tried to 
realize that most sure, most portentous hour, the last hour 
we sha. 1 spend on earth ? 

Theia was a certain man, an upholder of truth and justice, 
a Christian man and orthodox, so the world esteemed him. 
And, in sooth, it may be that some good thing was found in 
him, since in sleep, amid the visions of the night, it pleased 
the Father of spirits to reveal him to himself, making mani- 
fest to him what he was in truth, namely, one of those who 
trust in themselves that they are righteous and despise others. 

He went to rest, secure that his accounts were right with 
all men, that he had paid his dues and wrought good works 
that day ; of the secret pride of his heart, of the harsh words 
that had passed his lips, he took no account at all. And so 
he slept, and in his sleep Death stood by his bedside, a 
glorious Angel, strong, spotless, beautiful, but unlike every 
other angel, stern, unsmiling, pitiless of aspect. 

"Thine hour is come, and thou must follow me ! '' spake 
Death. And Death's cold finger touched the man's feet, 
whereupon they became like ice, then touched his forehead, 
then his heart. And the chain that bound the immortal soul 
to clay was riven asunder, and the soul was free to follow the 
Angel of Death. 

But during those brief seconds, while yet that awful touch 
thrilled through feet, and head, and heart, there passed over 
the dying man, as in great, heaving, ocean-waves, the recollec- 
ion of all that he had wrought and felt in his whole life ; 
jttst as one shuddering glance into a whirlpool suffices to 
reveal in thought rapid as lighcning, the entire unfathomable 
depth ; just as in one momentary glance at the starry heavena 



148 STORIES AND TALES. 

we can conceive the infinite multitude of that glorious host of 
unknown orbs. 

In such a retrospect the terrified sinner shrinks back into 
himseif, and rinding there no stay by which to cling, must 
feel shrinking into infinite nothingness ; while the devout sou] 
raises its thoughts to the Almighty, yielding itself up to Him 
in child-like trust, and praying, u Thy will be done in me ! ' 

But this man had not the child-like mind, neither did le 
tremble like the sinner ; his thoughts were still the seU 
praising thoughts in which he had fallen asleep. His path 
he believed, must lead straight heavenward, and Mercy, the 
promised Mercy, would open to him the gates. 

And, in his dream, the Soul followed the Angel of Death, 
though not without first casting one wistful glance at the 
couch where lay, in its white shroud, the lifeless image of 
clay, still, as it were, bearing the impress of the soul's own 
individuality. And now they hovered through the air, now 
glided along the ground. Was it a vast, decorated hall they 
were passing through, or a forest ? It seemed hard to tell ; 
Nature, it appeared, was formally set out for show, as in the 
artificial old French gardens, and amid its strange, carefully 
arranged scenes, passed and repassed troops of men and 
women, all clad as for a masquerade. 

" Such is human life ! " said the Angel of Death. 

The figures seemed me re or less disguised ; those who 
swept by in the glories of velvet and gold were not all among 
tht, noblest or most dignified-looking, neither were all those 
who wore the garb of poverty insignificant or vulgar. It was 
a strange masquerade ! But most strange it was to see hovi 
one and all carefully concealed under their clothing some- 
thing they would not have others perceive, but in vain, for 
each was bent upon discovering his neighbor's secret, and 
they tore and snatched at one another till, now here, now 
there, some part of an animal was revealed. In one was 
found the grinning head of an ape, in another the cloven fool 
of a goat, in a third the poison-fang of a snake, in a fourtij 
the clammy fin of a fish. 

All had in them some token of the rmimal, the animal 
rbich is fast rooted in human nature, and which here waa 



A VISION OF THE LAST DAY. 149 

aeen struggling to burst forth. And, however closely a man 
might hold his garment over it, the others would never rest 
till they had rent the hiding veil, and all kept crying out, 
" Look here ! look now ! here he is ! there she is ! " and 
every one mockingly laid bare his fellow's shame. 

"And what was the animal in me?" inquired the disem- 
bodied Soul ; and the Angel of Death pointed to a haughty 
Form, around whose head shone a bright, wide-spread glory of 
/ainbow-colored rays, but at whose heart might be seen lurk- 
ing, half hidden, the feet of the peacock ; the glory was, in 
fact, merely the peacock's gaudy tail. 

And as they passed on, large, foul-looking birds shrieked 
out from the boughs of the trees ; with clear, intelligible, 
though harsh, human voices they shrieked, " Thou that walk- 
est with Death, dost remember me ? ' All the evil thoughts 
and desires that had nestled within him from his birth until 
his death now called after him, " Rememberest thou me ? ' 

And the Soul shuddered, recognizing the voices ; it could 
not deny knowledge of the evil thoughts and desires that were 
now rising up in witness against it. 

" In our flesh, in our evil nature, dwelleth no good thing," 
cried the Soul ; " but, at least, thoughts never with me 
ripened into actions ; the world has not seen the evil fruit." 
And the Soul hurried on to get free from the accusing voices ; 
but the great black fowls swept in circles round, and screamed 
out their scandalous words louder and louder, as though they 
would be heard all over the world. And the Soul fled from 
them like the hunted stag, and at every step stumbled against 
sharp flint stones that lay in the path. " How came these 
sharp stones here ? They look like mere withered leaves 
lying on the ground." 

<: Every stone is for some incautious word thou hast spoken-, 
which lay as a stumbling-block in thy neighbor's path, which 
w junded thy neighbor's heart far more sorely and deeply than 
these sharp flints now wound thy feet." 

" Alas ! I never once thought of that," sighed the Sou!. 

And those words of the gospel rang through the air, 
M Juoge not, that ye be not judged," 

" We have all sinned," said the Soul, recovering from its 



150 STORIES AND TALES. 

momentary self-abasement. " I have kept the Law aid tb* 
Gospel, I have done what I could, I am not as others are ' '' 

And in his dream this man now stood at the gates of 
heaven, and the Angel who guarded the entrance inquired, 
" Who art thou ? Tell me thy faith, and show it to me in thy 
works." 

" I have faithfully kept the Commandments, I have hun> 
bled myself in the eyes of the world, I have preserved myself 
free from the pollution of intercourse with sinners, I have 
hated and persecuted evil, and those who practice it, and I 
would do so still, yea, with fire and sword, had I the power." 

" Then thou art one of Mohammed's followers ? " said the 
Angel. 

" I ? a Mohammedan ? never ! " 

" ' He who strikes with the sword shall perish by the 
sword,' thus spake the Son ; His religion thou knowest not. 
It may be that thou art one of the children of Israel, whose 
maxim is, * An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,' art thou 
such ? " 

" I am a Christian." 

" I see it not in thy faith or in thine actions. The law of 
Christ is the law of forgiveness, love, and mercy." 

" Mercy ! " The gracious echo of that sweet word thrilled 
through infinite space, the gates of heaven opened, and the 
Soul hovered toward the realms of endless bliss. 

But the flood of light that streamed forth from within was 
so dazzlingly bright, so transcendently white and pure, that the 
Soul shrank back as from a tw r o-edged swoid, and the hymns 
and harp-tones of Angels mingled in such exquisite celestial 
harmony as the earthly mind has not power either to conceive 
or to endure. And the Soul trembled and bowed itself deeper 
and deeper, and the heavenly light penetrated it through and 
through, and it felt to the quick, as it had never truly felt 
before, the burden of its own pride, cruelty, and sin. 

"What I have done of good in the world, that did I 
because I could not otherwise, but the evil that I did that 
was of myself ! " 

This confession was wrung from him ; more and more the 
man felt dazzled and overpowered by the pure light of 



A VISION OF THE LAST DAY. 15. 

heaven ; he seemed falling into a measureless abyss, the abyss 
ot his own nakedness and unworthiness. Shrunk into himself 
humbled, cast out, unripe for the kingdom of heaven, shudder- 
ing at the thought of the just and holy God, hardly dared 
he to gasp out, " Mercy ! ' 

And the face of the Angel at the portal was turned toward 
him in softening pity. " Mercy is for them who implore it 
not claim it ; there is Mercy also for thee. Turn thee, child 
of man, turn thee back the way thou earnest to thy clayev 
tabernacle ; in pity is it given thee to dwell in dust yet a little 
while. Be no longer righteous in thine own eyes, copy Him 
who with patience endured the contradiction of sinners, strive 
and pray that thou mayest become poor in spirit, and so 
mayest thou yet inherit the Kingdom." 

" Holy, loving, glorious forever shalt thou be, O, erring 
human spirit!" thus rang the chorus of Angels. And 
again overpowered by those transcendent melodies, dazzled 
and blinded by that excess of purest light, the Soul again 
shrank back into itself. It seemed to be falling an infinite 
depth ; the celestial music grew fainter and fainter, till com- 
mon earthly sights and sounds dispelled the vision. The 
rays of the early morning sun falling full on his face, the 
cheerful crow of the vigilant cock, called the sleeper up to 
pray. 

Inexpressibly humbled, yet thankful, he arose and knelt 
beside his bed. " Thou, who hast shown me to myself, help 
me now, that I may not only do justly, but love mercy, and 
walk humbly with my God. Thou, who hast convicted me of 
sin, now purify me, strengthen me, that, though ever unworthy 
rf Thy presence, I may yet, supported by Thy Love, dare to 
iscend into Thine everlasting J ght ! ' 

The Vision was his ; be the lesson, the prayer, also oura. 



THE GREENIES. 

A ROSE-TREE stood in the window. Only a short time ag 
it was green and fresh, and now it looked sickly, no doubt 
It was in poor health. A whole regiment was quartered on it 
and was eating it up ; but notwithstanding this greediness, the 
regiment was a very decent and respectable one. It wore 
bright green uniforms. I spoke to one of the " Greenies ; " 
he was but three days old, and yet he was already a grand- 
father. Do you know what he said? It is all true, he 
spoke of himself and of the rest of the regiment. Listen ! 

" We are the most wonderful creatures in the world. We 
are engaged at a very early age, and immediately have the 
wedding. When the cold weather comes, we lay our eggs ; the 
little ones lie snug and warm. The wisest of creatures, the 
ant, (we have the grestest respect foi him !) understands us. 
He appreciates us, you may be sure. He does not eat us up 
at once ; he takes our eggs, lays them in the family ant- hill, on 
the ground-floor, lays them, labeled and numbered, side by 
side, layer on layer, so that each day a new one may -,reep out 
Vf the egg. Then he puts us in a stable, pinches our hind 
legs, and milks us till we die. He has given us the prettiest 
name, ' Little milch-cow ! ' 

" All creatures, who, like the ant, are gifted with common 
sense, call us so : it is only human beings who do not ; they 
give us another name, and that we feel to be a great affront, 
great enough to embitter our whole life. Could you not 
write a protest ag linst it for us ? could you not rouse these 
Human beings to a sense of the wrong they do us ? They look 
at us so stupidly, at times with such envious eyes, just because 
we eat a rose-leaf, while they eat every created thing, all tha 
is green and grows. O, they give us the most humiliating 
name ! I will not even mention it. Ugh ! I feel it in my 
stomach ; I cannot even pronounce it, at least not when 1 
have my uniform on, and I always wear that. 



THE GREENIES. 



I.S3 



" I was born on a rose-leaf. I and the whole regiment live 
Oh the rose-tree. We live off it, in fact; but then it lives again 
in us, who belong to the higher order of created beings. The 
human beings do not like us ; they come and murder us with 
soap suds, it is a horrid drink ! I seem to smell it even 
now ; it is dreadful to be washed when one was not made to 
be washed. Man ! you who look at us with your severe soap- 
sud eyes, think what our place in nature is : we are born on 
roses, we die in roses, our whole life is a poem. Do not 
give us the name which you yourself think most despicable, 
the name that I cannot bear to pronounce ; call us the ants 1 
milch-cows the rose-tree regiment the little green things." 

And I the man stood looking at the tree, and at the 
little greenies, whose name I shall not mention, for I should 
not like to wound the feelings of one of the citizens of the 
rose-tree, a large family with eggs and young ones, and at 
the soap-suds that I was going to wash them in, for I had 
come with soap and water, and murderous intentions ; but now 
I will use it for soap-bubbles. Look ! how beautiful ! perhaps 
there lies a fairy tale in each, and the bubble grows so large 
and radiant, and it looks as if there were a pearl lying inside 
of it ! 

The bubble swayed and swung, and flew to the door and 
then burst ; but the door opened wide, and there stood Dame 
Fairy-tale herself! and now she will tell you better than I can 
tbout I won't say the name the little green things. 

" Tree-lice ! " said Dame Fairy-tale. " One must call thingi 
by their right names ; and if one may not do so always, ona 
at least have th<2 pr.Vlege of doing so in Fairy- talea 1" 



WHAT ONE CAN IN VENT I 

'*"T~" S HERE was once a young man who wanted to become a 

A poet. He wanted to be a poet by the next Easter, that 
he might marry and live by poetizing, and that, he knew, con- 
sisted merely in a knack of inventing, but then he never could 
invent ! He was quite sure that he had been born too late ; 
every subject had been taken before he came into the world, 
and there was nothing left for him to write about ! 

" What happy mortals were those who were born a thou- 
sand years ago," he sighed, " for then it was an easy matter 
to become immortal ! Even those who were born but a 
hundred years ago were enviable ; even at that time there was 
still something left to poetize about. But now all subjects 
are worn threadbare, and there is no use in my trying to write 
the nap on again ! ' 

He thought and thought about it, till he grew quite thin and 
forlorn, poor fellow. No doctor could help him ; there was 
but one who would be able to find the right remedy for him, 
and that was that wonderfully clever little old woman who 
lived in the little hut by the turnpike gate, that she opened 
and shut for all who passed that way. But she was wise and 
learned, and could open far more than the gate ; she was 
much wiser than the doctor who drives in his carriage, and 
pays title-taxes. 

" I must go to her," said the young man. Her home was 
small and tidy, but tiresome to look at, not a tree, not a 
flower, grew anywhere near it. There was a bee-hive at the 
door very useful! There was a little potato-field very 
useful ! and a ditch with a blackthorn bush that had flowered, 
and was bearing fruit berries that draw your mouth together 
kf you eat of them before the frost has nipped them. 

*' What a picture all this is of our unpoetic time," thought 
the young man. At least here was a thought, a grain ">J 



WHAT ONE CAN INVENT t 155 

gold dust that he found at the door of the little old woman's 
cottage. 

" Write that thought down," she said. " Crumbs are brea.i, 
too. I know why you have come here ; you cannot Lament, 
and yet you want to be a poet by next Easter ! " 

" Everything has been written about," he sighed ; " oaf 
time is not as the olden time." 

" No, it is not," said the old woman. " In the olden tiime 
such as I, who knew many weighty secrets, and how to cure 
by the help of wonderful herbs, were burned alive ; and in the 
olden time, the poets went about with empty stomachs and 
out at elbows. Ours is a very good time, the very best, much 
better than the olden time ; but your want of invention all 
lies in your having no eyes to see with, and no ears to hear, 
and you do not say your prayers of an evening. There are 
any amount of things all around you that one might poetize 
and write about, when one knows how to write stories. You 
can find it in the earth where it grows and sprouts ; you can 
dip into the running or the stagnant water, and you will find it 
there ; but first of all, you must understand the way of doing 
it, must know how to catch a ray of sunshine. Now, just 
tiy my spectacles, put my ear-trumpet to your ear, say your 
prayers, and do, for once, leave off thinking of yourself." 

That last request was almost more than he could fulfill, 
more than even such a wonderful old woman ought to ask. 

He got the spectacles and the ear-trumpet, and was put out 
into the middle of the potato-field ; then she gave him a huge 
potato in his hand ; presently he seemed to hear sounds in the 
potato, then came a song with words, a " story of e very-day 
life," in ten volumes, but ten hills will do as well. 

What was it the potato sang ? It sang about itself and its 
ancestors, the arrival of the potato in Europe, and all it had 
had to suffer from suspicion and ill-will before its value was 
recognized, before it was felt to be a much greater blessing 
lhan would be a lump of gold. 

" We were distributed, by order of the King, at the court- 
house in even- town ; and there was issued a circular, setting 
forth our value and great merits, but no one believed it ; they 
bad not even the slightest idea how to plant us. One man 



Ij6 STOASES AND TALES. 

dug a hole and threw his whole bushel of potaloes into it; 
anotht.r stuck them into the ground, one here, another there, 
and then waited for them to grow, and expected them to shoot 
up like trees that would bear potatoes, just as apple trees 
bear apples. There came buds, and stems, and flowers, and 
watery fruit, but it all withered away, and no one thought of 
the real blessing, the potato, that lay hidden under it all, in 
the ground. Yes, we have suffered much and been tried, 
that is, our forefathers have, but it all comes right in the end. 
Now you know our story. " 

" That's enough," said the old woman ; " now look at the 
blackthorn. " 

" We, too/' said the blackthorn, " have many relations in 
the land where the potatoes came from. A party of bold Nor- 
wegians from Norway steered their course westward through 
storm and fog till they came to an unknown country, where, 
under the ice and snow, they found herbs and grass, and 
bushes with blue-black berries of the vine, the blackthorn 
it was, whose berries ripen with the frost, and so do we. And 
that country they call ' Vineland,' and ' Greenland,' and ' Black- 
thorn Land.' 

" Why, that is quite a romantic story," said the young man. 

" Now just follow me," said the little old woman, as she led 
him to the bee hive. What life and movement there was ! 
Then he looked in ; there were bees standing in all the cor- 
ridors, moving their wings like fans, so that there might be 

j C? CJ 

plenty of fresh air all through that large honey factory ; that 
was their department. Then there were bees coming in from 
outside, from the sunshine and the flowers ; they had been 
born with baskets on their legs ; they brought the dust of the 
flowers and emptied it out of their little leg-baskets ; then it 
was sorted and worked up into honey and wax. Some came, 
some went ; the queen of the hive wanted to fly, but when she 
'lies, then all the others must fty too, and the right time for 
that had not yet come ; but fly she would, and then to prevent 
her doing so, they bit her majesty's wings off so that she 
vas obliged to stay where she was. 

"Now get up on the side of *he ditch, where you can 
til the town-folk going past," said the little old woman. 



WHAT ONE CAN INVENT! 



'57 



" Gaodness ' what an endless number of people,' ,aid the 
young man. ' One story after another ! I seem to hear 
such buzzing and singing, and now it all grows quite con- 
fused ! I feel quite dizzy I shall fall ! ' 

'* No, don't," said the old woman, " don't fall backward : 
just go forward, right into the crowd of people ; have eyes 
for all you see there, ears for all you hear, and above all, have 
a. heart in it all ! and before long you will be able to invent^ 
and have thoughts for writing down, but before you go you 
must give me back my spectacles and my ear-trumpet," and 
then she took both. 

" Now I see nothing more/' said the young man. " I do 
not even hear anything." 

"In that case, it is quite impossible for you to be a poet by 
next Easter," said the old woman. 

" But when shall I be a poet? " asked he. 

" Neither by Easter nor by Whitsuntide 1 You have no 
knack at inventing," said she. 

" But how then must I do, to get my living as by poetizing?" 

" That I will tell you : write about those who have written. 
lo hit their writings is to hit them. Don't let yourself be 
frightened ; the more you do of such writing, the more you 
will earn, and you and your wife will be able to eat cake 
every day." 

" What a trick she has at inventing," thought the young 
man, when he had thanked the old woman and bidden her 
-ood-by. And he did as she had told him. Finding he 
could not be a poet himself, invent, and have bright ideas 
ihat people would talk of, he took to handling and rather 
roughly all those that were poets. 

All this the little old woman, has told me ; she knows 
cne can invent 



"IT'S QUITE TRUE!" 

THAT is a terrible affair!" said a Hen and she said it 
in a quarter of the town where the occurrence had not 
happened. " That is a terrible affair in the poultry-house. I 
cannot sleep alone to-night ! It is quite fortunate that theie 
are many of us on the roost together ! ' And she told a tale, 
at which the feathers of the other birds stood on end, and the 
cock's comb fell down flat. It 's quite true ! 

But we will begin at the beginning ; and the beginning be- 
gins in a poultry-house in another part of the town. The sun 
went down, and the fowls jumped up on their perch to roost. 
There was a Hen, with white feathers and short legs, who 
laid her right number of eggs, and was a respectable hen in 
every way ; as she flew up on to the roost she pecked herself 
v/ith her beak, and a little feather fell out. 

" There it goes ! " said she ; " the more I peck myself the 
handsomer I grow ! " And she said it quite merrily, for she 
was a joker among the hens, though, as I have said, she was 
trery respectable ; and then she went to sleep. 

It was dark all around ; hen sat by hen, but the one that 
sat next to the merry Hen did not sleep : she heard and she 
didn't hear, as one should do in this world if one wishes to 
live in quiet ; but she could not refrain from telling it to he? 
next neighbor. 

" Did you hear what was said here just now ? I name no 
names ; but here is a hen who wants to peck her feathers out 
o look well. If I were a cock I should despise her." 

And just above the hens sat the Owl, with her husband and 
ler little owlets ; the family had sharp ears, and they all heard 
every word that the neighboring Hen had spoken, and they 
rolled their eyes, and the Mother-Owl clapped her wings and 
said, 

" Don't listen to it ! But I suppose you heard what was 



"IT'S QUITE TRUE!" [59 

ad there ? I heard it with my own ears, and one must hear 
touch before one's ears fall off. There is one among the 
fowls who has so completely forgotten what is becoming con- 
duct in j. hen that she pulls out all her feathers, and then lets 
the cock see her." 

" Prenez garde aux enfants" said the Father-Owl. " That'* 
not fit foi the children to hear." 

" I'll tell it to the neighbor owl ; she' a very proper owl to 
associate with." And she flew away. 

" Hoo ! hoo ! to-whoo ! " they both screeched in front of the 
neighbor's dove-cote to the doves within. " Have you heard 
it ? Have you heard it ? Hoo ! hoo ! there's a hen who has 
pulled out all her feathers for the sake of the cock. She'll die 
with cold, if she's not dead already." 

" Coo ! coo ! Where, where ? " cried the Pigeons. 

" In the neighbor's poultry-yard. I've as good as seen it 
myself. It 's hardly proper to repeat the story, but it 's quite 
true ! " 

" Believe it ! believe every single word of it ! '" cooed the 
Pigeons, and they cooed down into their own poultry-yard. 
" There's a hen, and some say that there are two of them that 
have plucked out all their feathers, that they may not look 
like the rest, and that they may attract the cock's attention. 
That's a bold game, for one may catch cold and die of a fever, 
and they are both dead." 

" Wake up ! wake up ! " crowed the Cock, and he flew up 
on to the plank ; his eyes were still very heavy with sleep, but 
yet he crowed. " Three hens have died of an unfortunate at- 
tachment to a cock. They have plucked out all their feathers. 
That's a terrible story. I won't keep it to myself; let it travel 
farther." 

" Let it travel farther ! " piped the Bats ; and the fowls 
plucked and the cocks crowed, " Let it go farther ! let it go 
arther ! " And so the story travelled from poultry-yard to 
poultry-yard, and at last came back to the place from which it 
had gone forth. 

" Five fowls," it was told, " have plucked out all their feath- 
ers to show which of them had become thinnest out of love to 
the cock ; and then they have pecked each other, and fallen 



l6C SrOAIES AND TALES. 

down dead, to the shame and disgrace of their families, and 
to the great loss of the proprietor." 

And the Hen who had lost the little loose feather, of course 
did not know her own story again ; and as she was a very re- 
spectable Hen, she said, 

" I despise those fowls ; but there are many of that sort 
One ought not to hush up such a thing, and I shall do what I 
can that the story may get into the papers, and then it will be 
spread over all the country, and that will serve those fowls 
right, and their families too." 

It was put into the newspaper , it was printed ; and it ' 
quite true that one little feather may swell till it becomes 



ANNE LISBETH. 

ANNE LISBETH had bright eyes, white teeth, and a 
complexion like lilies and roses ; she was young, gay, 
pieasant to look on, light-footed, light-minded. What would 
come of this ? Sorrow and shame would have come, had a x l 
been known, but all was not known. 

Anne Lisbeth went to a grand castle, to service ; she was 
nurse to the son of a count, a child beautiful as an angel, be- 
loved like a prince. Clad in silk and velvet she sat in a 
pleasant chamber, her nurse-child in her lap, and she loved 
her nurse-child dearly. But her own child, where was he ? 

Of a verity, he was not beautiful, nor a credit to her any 
way, and he was put out to nurse in the grave-digger's cottage. 
There, the goodwife's temper boiled over oftener than her 
pot ; sometimes no one was at home all day, the child cried, 
but what matter ? he cried himself to sleep, and in sleep one 
feels neither hunger nor thirst. " 111 weeds grow apace," says 
the proverb, and Anne Lisbeth's boy shot up fast. He had 
taken root as it were, in the grave-digger's household, his 
mother had paid money for his rearing, and thought herseli 
well rid of him. She was a fine lady in her way, and dressed 
Handsomely whenever she went out, but she never came to 
see her boy, for it was a long walk to the grave-digger's, and 
she had other -things to do. The boy ought now to earn his 
bread, they thought, and so he was set to mind Mads Jensen's 
rrd cow. 

The watch-dog in the yard basks in the sunshine, barking 
it every one who passes, and in rainy weather he crouches, 
warm and dry, inside his kennel. Anne Lisbeth's boy sat 
among the graves in the sunshine, cutting sticks, or watching 
three strawberry plants in blossom : they would turn into ber- 
nes, he hoped, and that was a pleasant though', but the berries 
aever ripened. Sunshine or shower, there he sat; he was 

ii 



1 62 STORIES AND TALES. 

often wet to the skin what matter? the keen wind soon 
dried his coarse garment, and he was best off there ; in tin 
house he got only kicks and cuffs, was called " stupid and 
ugly " he was used to that. 

Two words suffice to describe the lot of Anne Lisbeth's 
boy, only two words ; never loved. 

After a while he was faiily shoved off the land and sent lo 
sea in a miserable little vessel. Here he sat at the helm while 
the captain was drinking, a frost-bitten, shabby- looking boy, 
and so hungry! folk declared he was never satisfied proba- 
bly he never had the chance. 

It was late in the year, wet. raw, rough weather, the wind 
beat chillingly through the warmest clothing, especially at sea. 
On before the wind drove a miserable little vessel with one 
sail ; there were two men on board, say rather one man and a 
half; it was the captain and his boy. There had been no 
light stronger than twilight all day ; now it grew darker, and 
the cold was piercing. The skipper took a dram to warm 
himself; the bottle was old and the glass was a broken one 
with a bit of wood painted blue for a foot. The boy sat at the 
helm, which he held with his hard red hands a cowed, 
shrinking form with wild hair ; it was the grave-digger's boy, 
described in the church register-books as Anne Lisbeth's son. 

The wind drove on and so did the ship ; the sail spread 
out, the wind had strong hold on it. Stop ! what was that ? 
something hard pushed against the ship, it bounded, it spun 
round the boy at the helm screamed aloud, " Lord Jesu, 
help ! " The ship had struck against a great rock, and sank 
like an old shoe in a duck-pond ; sank with all its crew, its 
one man and a half. None saw it save the screaming sea- 
gulls overhead and the fishes beneath, and these hardly saw it 
aright, for they darted away in terror when the water rushed 
into the sinking vessel. 

And so these two were drowned and forgotten, drowned in 
water scarcely a fathom deep ; only the broken glass with 
blue-painted wooden foot sank not, the wooden foot kept it 
afloat, and it drifted on to the shore. That old broken glass 
had been useful, had been loved too, after a fashion ; so had 



ANNE LISBETH. 

not been Anne Lisbeth's boy No matter, in the kingdom of 
heaven shall no soul have cause to sigh " never loved.*' 

** 

Anne Lisbeth, meanwhile, was living in a large town ; she 
had lived there for several years, she was addressed as 
"madam," and always held herself very erect when she talked 
of old times, of the days when she drove in a carriage and 
held converse with countesses and baronesses. As to her 
nurse-child, he was the sweetest of little cherubs ; he had 
loved her and she had loved him ; he was her pride and her 
joy ; by this time he must be fourteen years old, a clever, 
beautiful boy ; she had not seen him since the days when 
she carried him in her arms ; it was so long a journey to the 
castle. 

" But I must find my way there some day," said Anne Lis- 
beth ; " I must see my sweet young count again. He must be 
longing for me, loving me still as he did when his little cherub- 
arms clung to my neck, and his lips stammered ' Ann Lis ! ' 
as sweet as a violin. Yes, I must see him again ! " 

So she accomplished the long journey, partly on foot, parti) 
by a bullock wagon. The count's castle was as splendid, the 
count's gardens as blooming as ever, but the servants were 
all strangers to her, not one of them knew Anne Lisbeth, 01 
seemed to think her at all an important personage. " No 
matter," she thought, " the countess will know me, and my 
own boy ! how I long for him ! ' 

She had to wait a long, long time. At last, just before the 
company went in to dinner, Anne Lisbeth was called in. The 
countess spoke very kindly to her, and promised that after 
dinner she should see her darling boy. So she had to wail 
for her second summons. 

" Her darling boy " had grown such a tall, straight, lanky 
fellow, but he still had his beautiful eyes and cherub mouth 
e looked at her and said not a word. Certainly he had 
no recollection of her. He turned about to go, but she 
seized his hand, and pressed it to her lips. " O yes, tha ? 
will do," he muttered hastily, and went out of the room. The 
angraleful young count, whom she had loved most or eartfc 
had made the pride of her life 1 



164 STORIES A. YD TALES. 

And Anne Lisbeth left the castle and took her way home. 
ward along the open high-road in deep sadness. That he 
should be so cold to her, have not a word or a thought for her, 

o > 

he whom she had once carried night and day, and had fof 
years ever since carried in her heart ! It vvas very bittei to 
her. 

A great black raven flew down and settled on the road just 
in front of her, screaming hoarsely. " O, thou bird of ill 
omen ! " she exclaimed. 

She passed the grave-digger's cottage, his wife vvas standing 
in the doorway and greeted her. " How well and stout you 
are looking ; all goes right with von, I see ! ' 

" Pretty well," replied Anne Lisbeth. 

"There has been a mischance here," said the grave-diners' 

v7* C^O 

wife. " Lars, the skipper, and your boy, are both drowned. 
So there is an end of the matter. But I had hoped that the 
boy would have lived to help me at times with a penny or so j 
he has cost you nothing for a long while, you know, Anne 
Lisbeth." 

" Drowned, are they ? " exclaimed Anne Lisbeth ; and r 
more was said on the subject. 

Anne Lisbeth was cut to the heart because the young count 
would not speak to her, and because the expensive journey she 
lad taken had brought her so little pleasure ; still not for the 
tforld would she betray her disappointment to the grave-digger's 
wife, nor would she have it supposed that she was no longer re- 
spected at the count's. Whilst she stood talking the raven 
again flew screaming over her head. " The great black thing ! " 
she exclaimed, " this is the second time it has startled me to 
lay." 

She had with her some coffee-beans and some chicory ; she 
felt tired, and it would be a kindness to the grave-digger's wife 
to give these to her and take a cup with her. So the poor 
woman went to prepare the coffee, and Anne Lisbeth sat 
down on a chair and fell asleep. 

Stranglv enough she dreamed of one whom she had nevei 

O ^ O 

dreamt of before ; she dreamed of her own child, who in thai 
house had hungered and cried, and who now lay deep below 
the sea, our Lord only knew where. She dreamed that as sin 



ANNE LISBETH. 105 

gat there, waiting for her coffee, the fragrance thereof reached 
her from the kitchen, even as she sat there, a shining one, beau- 
tiful as the young count, stood in the doorway and he spoke 
to her. He said, " The world is passing away ! Hold thee 
fast by me, thou art still my mother. Thou hast an angel n 
Paradise for thy child ; hold fast by me." And he took hoJd I 
her, and in that very moment came a loud crash, as though the 
world were bursting asunder, and the angel rose in the air lift- 
ing her by her sleeves ; she felt herself raised from the ground. 
But then something heavy dragged down her feet and pressed 
upon her back ; it was as though a hundred women weie chng- 
>ng fast to her, screaming, " If thou mayst be saved, so may 
we ! hold fast, hold fast ! " And thus all clung to her, and the 
weight was too heavy, her sleeve was rent in twain, and Anne 
Lisbeth fell to the earth. In her terror she awoke. She 
nearly fell off the chair she sat on, her head was so dizzy. 
She could not understand her dream, she could not rightly 
remember it, but she felt it foreboded her evil. 

She drank her cup of coffee, took leave of the grave-digger's 
wife, and walked on to the nearest village, where she was to 
meet the carrier, and drive home with him the same evening. 
But the carrier told her he could not start till the following 
evening ; she might wait for him if she pleased. She thought 
over the expense of staying, considered the length of the way, 
and resolved to walk home ; she could go by the shore, as by 
the road it would be two miles longer. It was bright weather 
and the moon was at the full, so Anne Lisbeth would walk 
home through the night. 

The sun had set, the evening bells were still ringing, 1 nay, it 
was not the bells, it was Peter Oxe's frogs croaking in the pond. 
But soon they too were hushed, and all was silence, not a bird 
aised its voice, for all were at rest, and the owl, it seemed, 
was not at home. The stillness of death brooded over wood 
hnd shore, she could hear the sound of her own footsteps in 
the sand, not a wave rippled the sea, the deep waters were 

- In Denmark the church bells still ring the sun up and ring him down, 
and before the chime is ended the sexton i? wont to give nine distinct 
Urokes, the first for the Lord's Prayer, the seven succeeding for the SCVCB 
petitions contained therein, and the ninth for the " Amen." 7\amlt\tor 



1 66 STORIES AND TALES, 

at peace ; silence was everywhere, silence among the living 

and the dead. 

Anne Lisbeth walked on without thinking of anything par- 
ticular, as folk say. And yet though she might not be con- 
scious of them, her thoughts were busy within her as they al- 
ways are with us all. They lie slumbering within us, both 
those thoughts that have already shaped themselves into action 
and those that have never yet stirred there they lie, never- 
theless, and some day will come forth. It is written, " The 
work of righteousness is peace ; " and again it is written, " 1'he 
wages of sin are death ! " Anne Lisbeth had read and heard 
these words many a time ; it might be said she had never re- 
flected on them, but they lay low down in her heart, nevertheless. 

The germs of vices and virtues both lie deep in our hearts, in 
thine, in mine ; like tiny, invisible seeds, there they lurk ; thei 
comes a ray of holy light, or the touch of an evil hand, thou 
turnest to the right hand or to the left, and lo ! the little seed- 
corn quivers into life, it sprouts forth, it pours its sap into 
all thy veins. There are many painful thoughts whereof one 
is unsconscious while walking in a trance, but they live and 
move within us all the same ; thus Anne Lisbeth walked as 
in a trance, but her thoughts were living within her. From 
Candlemas to Candlemas the heart has much very much 
upon its tablets, even the account of the whole year : many 
things are forgotten, sins in word and in thought, sins against 
our God, our neighbor, and our own conscience we reck not 
of them, -either did Anne Lisbeth. She had not transgressed 
the law? of the land ; she knew that she was well liked, well 
esteemed, even respected ; her sins she had hidden, and few 
knew them. 

And as she now walked along the shore, what was it made 
her start and stand still ? yonder old hat, cast up from the seu ? 
She approached it, stood looking at it ; '" It must have belonged 
to some poor fellow who is drowned." She walked on. Now 
again, what can have terrified her ? for a second time she 
starts and pauses. Can it be yonder mass of tangle and sea- 
weed, clinging to a great, long shaped stone ! 

It was, in sooth, nothing but a heap of sea-weed, but to 
her fancy it had for a moment resembled the body of a man 



ANNE LISBETH. 167 

and as she walked on further, there came into her mind many 
things she had been told when a child about the old super- 
stitious belief in the " Spectre of the Shore " the ghost of 
the drowned body that lay unburied. washed by the waves 
upon the wild sea-sand. The lifeless body, that could do no 
harm, but the ghost, the " Spectre of the Shore," would follow 
the lonely wanderer, clinging fast to him, and demanding tc 
be carried to the church-yard to be buried in consecrated earth. 
" Hold on ! hold on ! " it would cry ; and as Anne Lisbetn 
repeated to herself these words, all at once came back to her, 
and that most vividly, the memory of her dream, how the moth- 
ers had clung to her, screaming, " Hold fast ! cling fast ! " how 
the world had sunk beneath her, how her sleeves had rent, and 
she had fallen from the hold of her child, who would fain have 
held her up in the hour of doom. Her child, her own flesh 
and blood, whom she had ne^^r loved, scarcely ever thought 
of this child was now lying at the bottom of the sea ; he 
might any day be washed ashore, and his ghost might come 
to her and cry, " Hold on ! hold on ! bury me in Christian 
earth ! " 

Goaded by this terrible thought, she speeded on faster, faster. 
Fear laid a cold, clammy hand upon her heart ; she felt ready 
to faint. And as she glanced the sea, the air grew thicker 
and thicker, a heavy mist drew over the scene, veiling bush and 
tree under strange disguises. She turned to look for the moon, 
which was behind her ; behold, it was a pale disk without rays. 
And something heavy seemed to clog her limbs ; " Hold on 
hold on ! " those terrible words seemed to haunt her ; she 
turned again to look for the moon, and its white face seemed 
close beside her, and the mist hung like a shroud over her 
shoulders. " Hold on ! bury me in Christian earth ! " these 
words she heard in her heart ; and now in her ears too she heard 
a sound, hollow, yet hoarse, but not the voice of the frogs in 
the pond, not the tones of the raven for neither of these 
were near but, " Bury me, bury me ! " clearly she heard those 
awful words. Yes, it was, it must be indeed the " Spectre of the 
Shore ! " it was her very own child, who could not find rest for 
his soul till his body was borne to the church-yard and laid in 
a Christian grave. To the church-yard she would go, she would 



1 68 STORIES AND TALES 

dig the grave that very hour ; and as soon as she turned in thl 
direction of the church, her burden seemed to grow lighter, nay, 
it disappeared altogether. When she felt this she turned back 
to pursue her way homeward, but then again her limbs sunk 
beneath her, and the terrible words again rang in her ears, 
*' Hold on ! hold on ! bury me ! bury me ! " 

Cold and clammy was the mist, but colder, more clammy 
Had fear made her hands and face ! Shrunk into herself, with 
no refuge whereunto to flee, her heart heaved with thoughts 
and feelings that had never stirred within her until this hour. 

In our northern climes one single spring night suffices to 
dress the beech wood in its light, bright splendor, ready to 
greet the sunshine of the coming day. In one second may 
the seed-germ of sin within us be lifted to light and unfolded 
into words and deeds ; likewise must it be when conscience is 
awakened. And our Lord awakes it at a time when we least 
expect, when there is no power to excuse ourselves, when the 
deed must stand open and naked, witnessing against us, when 
thoughts leap into words, and words ring clearly over the world. 
Then we shrink back in horror at the sight of the evil we have 
secretly borne within us, still more at the evil we have wantonly 
sown broadcast over the earth. And so was it with Anne Lis- 
beth. Overpowered with the sense of her sin, she sunk to the 
ground. " Bury me ! bury me ! " still rang those terrible woids, 
and gladly would she have buried herself, could the grave 
have brought eternal forgetfulness. It was her hour of awak- 
ing with a vengeance. Her blood ran hot and cold by turns. 
Noiseless as the shadowy cloud in the clear moonlight passed 
before her a vision she had heard tell of years ago; this was 
a glowing chariot of tire, drawn by four snorting horses, with 
fire shooting out from their eyes and nostrils, the charioteer 
an evil-minded nobleman, who for more than a hundred years 
had thus been wont to drive through the neighborhood at mid- 
night. So ran the legend ; he was not white, like otherghosts \ 
his face was black as a burnt-out coal, and he nodded to Anna 
Lisbeth as he passed, "Hold on! hold on! so mayst thou 
again drive in a count's carriage and forget thy child ! ' 

She started up and hurried on toward the church-yard , 
out the black crosses and the black :avens mingled confusedly 



ANNE L/SBETH. 1(>9 

tefore her eyes, the ravens screamed as they had done in the 
morning, and now she understood them ; they meant to say 
" 1 am Mother Raven ! I am Mother Raven ! " and Anne 
Lisbeth knew that the name fitted her well ; and a dread came 
upon her lest she should become changed into a great black 
bird, "like these, to scream, like them, " I am Mother Raven ! " 

And she flung herself down on the ground, and began dig- 
ging with her hands in the hard earth ; she dug till the blood 
gushed from her fingers. 

" Bury me, bury me ! " still she heard the words, and she 
dreaded each moment to hear the cock crow, and to see the 
first red streak in the east, for if her task were not completed 
before the morning, she believed she would be lost. And the 
cock did crow, and light appeared in the east and the grave 
was only half dug, and, behold, an icy hand passed over her 
head and face, thrilled down to her heart. And a voice sighed 
forth, " Only half the grave ! " and a form hovered past down 
ward toward the sea. Yes, it was indeed the " Spectre of 
the Shore," and Anne Lisbeth fell swooning to the earth. 

It was bright daylight when she came to herself. Two men 
were lifting her ; she was lying, not in the church-yard, but 
down by the shore, where she had been digging a deep hole 
in the sand, and had wounded her finger with a broken glass, 
the stem whereof was set in a wooden foot, painted blue. 

Anne Lisbeth was ill ; her conscience had spoken loud that 
night, and the spectres of superstition had blended their voices 
with the voices of conscience. And she had no power to dis- 
cern between them ; she now believed that she had but half a 
soul, and that the other half had been borne hence by her 
child, borne away to the depths of the sea ; never could she 
hope for heaven's mercy till she had again the half-soul that 
was imprisoned in the deep waters. 

Anne Lisbeth went home ; she was no longer as she had 
been before, her thoughts were like a tangled skein, one thiead 
only could she clearly lay hold of. She must carry the 
" Spectre of the Shore " to the church-yard, and there d'g a 
grave for it ; this one idea possessed her. Many a night she 
was missed from her home, and always was she found down 
by the shoie waiting for the spectre. So passed away a whoie 



I7O STORIES AND TALES. 

twelvemonth. Then again at night she disappeared, and wai 
sought for in vain. 

Toward evening, when the sacristan came into church to 
ring the Vesper bell, he found Anne Lisbeth lying in front of 
the altar. Here she had been ever since the early morning 
hour ; her strength was almost gone, but her eye glistened, 
and a faint rosy hue lighted up her face as the last sunbeams 
shone in upon her, streamed over the altar, and glowed on the 
bi ight silver clasps of the large open Bible, open at this text 
of the Prophet Joel : " Rend your hearts, and not your gar- 
ments, and turn unto the Lord your God." That was a sin- 
gular chance, folk said, so much is done by chance in this 
world, according to some people. 

But as the setting sun shone on Anne Lisbeth's face, it 
spoke of calm rest and peace. All was well with her now, 
she said. She had won back her soul ! For during the past 
night the spectre, her own child, had been with her, and had 
said, " Thou hast dug only half a grave for me ! true ! but 
thou hast now for a year and a day entombed me in thine 
heart, and that is the only right resting-place a mother can 
provide for her child ! " And then he had given back her lost 
half-soul and guided her into the church ! 

" And now I am in God's house," said she. " It is blessed 
to be here." 

By the time the sun had set, Anne Lisbeth's soul had left 
this earth for the world where fear is unknown, where ail 
are blotted out, even such as Anne Lisbeth'i. 



THE CANDLES. 

INHERE was a great Wax-light that knew ?vell 
what it was. 

" I am born in wax, and moulded in a form," it said. " I 
give more light, and burn a longer time than any other light 
My place is in the chandelier, or silver candlestick." 

"That must be a charming life ! " said the Tallow-candle. 
" I am only of tallow, only a tallow dip ; but then, I comfort 
myself, it is always better than to be a mere taper, that is 
dipped only two times : I am dipped eight times, to get a 
decent thickness. I'm satisfied. It would, to be sure, be 
finer and luckier still to have been born in wax, and not in 
tallow ; but one doesn't fix himself. They are put in great 
rooms, and in glass candlesticks. I live in the kitchen, but 
that is a good place, too ; they get up all the dishes in the 
house there." 

" There is something that is more important than eating ! " 
said the Wax-candle. " Good company, to see them shine, 
and shine yourself. There is a ball here this evening. Now 
I and all my family are soon to be sent for." 

Scarcely was this said, when all the Wax-lights were sent 
for, but the Tallow-candle too. The mistress took it in her 
delicate hand, and carried it out into the kitchen ; there stood 
a little boy with a basket that was full of potatoes, and a few 
apples were in it too. The good lady had given all these to 
the little poor boy. 

" Here is a candle for you, my little friend," said she. 
" Your mother sits up and works far into the night, she can 
use this." 

The lady's little daughter stood by her ; and when she 
heard the words " far into the night," she said, eagerly, " And 
I'm going to sit up till night, too ! We're going to have a ball, 
and I'm to wear big red bows for it." 



172 



STORIES AND TALES. 



How her face shone ! yes, that was happiness i no wax-light 
could shine like the child's eyes. 

" That is a blessed thing to see," thought the Tallow-candle. 
" I shall never forget it, and certainly it seems to me there can 
be nothing more." And so the Candle was laid in the basket 
under the cover, and the boy took it away. 

"Where am I going to now?' : thought the Candle. "I 
shall be with poor folks, perhaps not once get a brass candle- 
stick ; but the Wax-light is stuck in silver, and sees tl: e finest 
folks ! What can there be more delightful than to be a light 
among fine folks ? That's my lot, tallow, not wax." 

And so the Candle came to the poor people, a widow 
with three children, in a little, low studded room, right over 
opposite the rich house. 

" God bless the good lady for what she gave ! " said the 
mother ; " it is a splendid candle, it can burn till far into 
the night." 

And the Candle was lighted. 

" Pugh ! " it said. " That was a horrid match she lighted 
me with. One hardly offers such a thing as that to a wax- 
light, over at the rich house." 

There also the wax-lights were lighted, and shone out over 
the street. The carriages rumbled up to the rich house with 
the guests for the ball, dressed so finely ; the music struck up. 

" Now they're beginning over there," felt the Tallow-candle, 
and thought of the little rich girl's bright face, that was brighter 
than all the wax-lights. " That sight I never shall see any 
more 

Then the smallest of the children in the poor house came 
she was a little girl and put her arms round her brother 
and sister's necks ; she had something very important to 
tell, and must whisper it. 

"We're going to have this evening, just think of it, 
we'ie going to have this evening warm potatoes ! " and her 
face beamed with happiness. The Candle shone right at her, 
and saw a pleasure, a happiness, as great as was in the rich 
house, where the little girl said, " We are going to have * 
ball this evening, and I shall wear some great red bows." 

" Is it such a great thing to get warm potatoes ? " thougl 




THE CANDLES. See page 171. 



THE CANDLES. 

the Candle. " Well, here is just the same joy among the lit- 
tle things ! " and it sneezed l at that, that is, it sputtered, 
and more than that no tallow-candle could do. The table 
was spread, the potatoes were eaten. O, how good they 
tasted ! it was a real feast ; and then each got an apple be- 
sides, and the smallest child sang the little verse, 

" Now thanks, dear Lord, I give to Thee, 
That Thou again hast filled me. Amen." 

" Was not that said prettily ? " asked the little girl. 

" You mustn't ask that, or say it/' said the mother. " You 
should only thank the good God, who has filled you." 

And the little children went to bed, gave a good-night kiss, 
and fell asleep right away ; and the mother sat till far into the 
night, and sewed, to get a living for them and herself ; and 
from the rich house the lights shone, and the music sounded. 
The stars twinkled over all the houses, over the rich and over 
the poor, just as clear, just as kindly. 

" That was in sooth a rare evening," thought the Tallow- 
candle. " Do you think the wax-lights had any better time in 
their silver candlesticks ? that I'd like to know before I am 
burnt out ! " 

And it thought of the happy children's faces, the two alike 
happy, the one lighted by wax-light, the other by tallow- 
candle. 

Yes, that is the story. 

i la Danish popular talk to sneese at a thing, is the same as to nod 

rat 



GOOD HUMOR. 

FROM my father I have inherited that best inheritance 
Good Humor. " And who was my father ? " it will be 
asked. Now what signifies who he was ? He was a thriving, 
lively, happy, little man, his exterior and interior equally at 
variance with his office. " And what was his office, his posi- 
tion in the community ? " That will be the next question ; 
and it strikes me that if the answer to it were written and 
printed right at the beginning of a book, most people would 
lay the book down almost as soon as they had opened it, 
saying, " That is enough ; I don't want anything of this kind." 
And yet my father was neither hangman nor headsman ; on 
the contrary, his office often brought him into communication 
with the most honorable men of the state ; and in such cases 
he invariably took precedence of them, even of bishops and 
princes of the blood royal, for to confess the truth he was 
the driver of a hearse ! 

Now the worst is said ! and it must be added that 
when my father was seen sitting up on high, his face, despite 
the garnish of the long black mantle and crape-bordered, 
three-cornered hat, ever benign, contented, and placid, no one 
could help feeling that either he, or the great, heavyj dismal 
hearse, with its unseemly and melancholy pomp, was strangely 
Hit of place. But enough of this; suffice it to say that, from my 
ather, besides my good humor, I have inherited two habits ; 
my first, that of paying frequent visits to the churchyard ; sec- 
ondly, that of reading all the newspapers, but especially the 
advertisement sheets. 

I am not exactly young ; I have neithei wife, children, nor 
library to entertain me, but as I have already said, I read all 
Uie advertisements through, and they supply me with a fund 
of ever-varying amusement. From them I know who preaches 
in the churches and who preaches in the new books , I know 



GOOD HUMOR. I7S 

/ w 

where I may get houses, servants, well-fitting clothes, and 
delicacies for the table when I want them ; I know who 
is selling off and who is buying in. Then, too, I hear of so 
many deeds of pure, disinterested benevolence ! I read so 
many such innocent verses ! their author may have intended 
them to convey cutting sarcasms, but they are quite guiltless 
of offense to any one. I become, by dint of patient study, 
End at the cost of a little imagination, initiated into so many 
interesting family mysteries ; all this through reading the 
advertisement sheets. 

Every one, of course, is free to read the newspapers at 
pleasure ; but as for my second amusement, my walks in the 
church-yard, if anybody would like to share it, let him come 
with me some day when the sun shines and the trees are 
green ; then let us ramble together among the graves ; each 
one is like a closed book with the back set out toward you, 
so that you can just read the title which tells you what the 
book contains. Too often, though, the title is a complete 
misnomer: no matter, I know all about it, I have it all in a 
book I have written for my own especial benefit and instruc- 
tion, and I will impait some of its contents to my companion. 

Now we are in the church-yard. 

Here, behind this white-painted trellis-work, within which 
once grew a rose-tree, it is dead now from neglect, but a 
stray bit of evergreen from the neighboring grave stretches 
a long green arm over the sod, as though to compensate for 
the loss and make a little show, here rests a man who was 
singularly unhappy. Yet no one would have called him un- 
fortunate ; he had a sufficient income, and was never visited 
by any great calamity. His unhappiness was, in fact, of his 
own making ; according to the common phrase, he took every- 
thing too much to heart. Thus, if he went one evening to 
Jie theatre, it was sufficient to spoil his enjoyment that the 
machinist had put too strong a light into the moon, or tiiat 
ihe scene-painter had been guilty of some such mistake as 
introducing a palm-tree into a home-landscape, cactuses among 
the plains of Tyrol, or beech-trees on the Norwegian moun- 
tains. If the play and the actors were right, the audience 
was sure to be wrong, applauding too much or too little, o? 



STORIES AND TALES, 

laughing when they had no business to laugh ; and this was 
enough to vex him thoroughly. Petty mischances, minor mis- 
understandings, made the misery of his life ; an especially 
unhappy man was he. 

Here rests a very fortunate man, a man of extremely high 
birth, wherein, in fact, consisted his good fortune, for, had he 
not been high-born nothing could have ever been made of 
him. But everything is so wisely arranged, and so It was in 
this case. He went to and fro in state, he was introduced 
into the saloons of great people, very much as a fine era 
broidered bell-rope is introduced into a room, behind the 
handsome show bell-rope is always a good strong cord which 
really does all the service required. And this man had his 
good cord behind him, who now pulls the wires behind a 
new embroidered bell-rope. Is it not so? everything is so 
wisely arranged that it is easy enough to keep up one's good 
humor. 

Here rests nay, now this is really sad ! here rests a 
man who during threescore and seven years worried himself 
and worked his brains to hit upon a happy idea. For the 
sake of this happy idea he lived alone all his days, and when 
at last he had persuaded himself that he had succeeded, he 
was so overcome that he died of joy, died of joy at having 
found it, died before he had time to announce it to the 
world. I can almost fancy that he has no rest in his grave, 
because of the happy idea at last conceived, but which no one 
but himself has rejoiced over, or ever can rejoice over. For, 
TOOK you, this was an idea such as to produce a sensation 
should it be brought out before a merry breakfast-party. Now 
it is universally received that ghosts can only walk at mid- 
night ; should this ghost, therefore, come forth at the appointed 
hour and appear among his friends, his idea would be a total 
failure ; no one will laugh, for jesting comes unseasonably at 
midnight, and so the ill-fated ghost will return disappointed to 
his grave. It really is very sad. 

Here reposes a lady noted for her thriftiness ; during hex 
s .ife-time she was wont to get up at night and mew, that hei 
neighbors might imagine she kept a cat, which she rUd not 
ihere was thriftiness for you. 



GOOD HUMOR. 177 

And here a young lady of good family ; in society she was 
always called upon to sing, and when she sang, " Mi manca 
la voce ! " that was the sole and only truth in her life. 

And here rests another young girl, a very different nature. 
Alas ! when the heart's canary-bird begins to sing, too often 
will Reason put her finger in her ears. Poor girl, so young, 
so lovely ! it is an old story ; may she rest in peace ! 

Here lies a widow lady who had the sweetness of the dove 
on her lips, and the gall of the owl in her heart. Like a bird 
of prey, she went about from one family to another, feeding 
upon her neighbors' faults. 

This is a family vault ; every member of the race to which 
it belonged lived in the faith that whatever the world and the 

O 

newspaper said must needs be true. If the youngest grand- 
son of that house came home from school and said, " So have 
I heard it said ; " whatever the news might be was -received 
as unquestionable. And certain it is that if the cock belong- 
ing to that house had taken it into his head to crow at mid- 
night, the whole family would have believed that morning had 
dawned, whatever the sky and the sun might have maintained 
to the contrary. 

The great Goethe concluded his " Faust " with the words, 
" It may be continued ;" in like manner I will conclude our 
walk in the church-yard. My visits are frequent, for when- 
ever any one of my friends, or unfriends, gives me a reason to 
suppose that he wishes to be the same as dead to me, I go 
thither, seek out an unoccupied spot of green turf, and dedi- 
cate it to him. Thus I have buried many of my acquaint- 
ances : there they lie, powerless to hurt me ; and meanwhile, 
I look forward to the time when they may return to life again, 
better and wiser than they were before. Their life and history, 
as seen from my point of view, I write down in my book. 
\nd here let me recommend others to do as I do, namely, 
when they have received a slight or wound from any one, to 
bury the offender out of sight and out of mind, and what* rei 
eril chances befall, to keep constant to Good Humor. 

12 



THE PRINCESS ON THE PEA. 

THERE was once a Prince who wanted to marry a Prin- 
cess ; but she was to be a real princess. So he trav- 
elled about, all through the world, to find a real one, but 
everywhere there was something in the way. There were 
princesses enough, but whether they were real princesses he 
could not quite make out : there was always something that 
did not seem quite right. So he came home again, and was 
quite sad : for he wished so much to have a real princess. 

One evening a terrible storm came ^n. It lightened and 
thundered, the rain streamed down ; ft was quite fearful ! 
Then there was a knocking at the town gate, and the old King 
went out to open it. 

It was a Princess who stood outside the gate. But, mercy ! 
how she looked, from the rain and the rough weather ! The 
water ran down from her hair and her clothes ; it ran in at 
the points of her shoes, and out at the heels ; and yet she 
declared that she was a real princess. 

" Yes, we will soon find that out," thought the old Queen. 
But she said nothing, only went into the bedchamber, took all 
ihe bedding off, and put a pea on the flooring of the bedstead ; 
then she took twenty mattresses and laid them upon the pea, 
and then twenty eider-down beds upon the mattresses. On 
this the Princess had to lie all night. In the morning she was 
asked how she had slept. 

" O, miserably ! ' said the Princess. " I scarcely closed 
my eyes all night long. Goodness knows what was in my 
bed. I lay upon something hard, so that I am black and blue 
all over. It is quite dreadful ! " 

Now they saw that she was a real princess, for through the 
twenty mattresses and the twenty eider-down beds she had 



THE PRINCESS ON THE. PEA. 179 

felt the pea. No one but a real princess could be so deli 
cate. 

So the Prince took her for his wife, for now he knew that 
he had a true princess ; and the pea was put in the museum, 
and it is there now, unless somebody has carried it oft 

Look you, this is a true story. 



THE OLD STREET LAMP. 

DID you ever hear the story of the old Street Lamp ? 1 1 
is not very remarkable, but it may be listened to for 
once in a way. 

It was a very honest old Lamp, that had done its work for 
many, many years, but which was now to be pensioned off 
It hung for the last time to its post, and gave light to the 
street. It felt as an old dancer at the theatre, who is dancing 
for the last time, and who to-morrow will sit forgotten in her 
garret. The Lamp was in great fear about the morrow, for it 
knew that it was to appear in the council-house, and to 
be inspected by the mayor and the council, to see if it were 
fit for further service or not. 

And then it was to be decided whether it was to show its 
light in future for the inhabitants of some suburb, or in the 
country in some manufactory : perhaps it would have to go at 
once into an iron foundry to be melted down. In this last 
case anything might be made of it ; but the question whether 
it would remember, in its new state, that it had been a Street 
Lamp, troubled it terribly. Whatever might happen, this 
much was certain, that it would be separated from the watch- 
man aiyl his wife, whom it had got to look upon as quite be- 
longing to its family. When the Lamp had been hung up for 
the first time the watchman was a young sturdy man : it hap- 
pened to be the very evening on which he entered on his office. 
Yes, that was certainly a long time ago, when it first became 
a Lamp and he a watchman. The wife was a little proud in 
those days. Only in the evening, when she went by, she 
deigned to glance at the Lamp ; in the daytime never. But 
now, in these latter years, when all three, the watchman, his 
wife, and the Lamp, had grown old, the wife had also tended 
It, cleaned it, and provided it with oil. The two old people 
were thoroughly honest ; never had they cheated the Lamp of 
l single drop of the oil provided for it. 



THh OLD STREET LAMP. l8l 

It was the Lamp's last night in the street, and to-morrow 
it was to to the council-house ; those were two dark 
thoughts ! No wonder that it did not burn brightly. But many 
other thoughts passed through its brain. On what a number 
of events had it shone how much it had seen ! Peihaps as 
much as the mayor and the whole council had beheld. But it 
did not give utterance to these thoughts, for it was a good 
honest old Lamp, that would not willingly hurt any one, and 
leist of all those in authority. Many things passed through 
its mind, and at times its light flashed up. In such moments 
*t had a feeling that it, too, would be remembered. 

"There was that handsome young man it is certainly a 
Jong while ago he had a letter on pink paper with a gilt 
edge. It was so prettily written, as if by a lady's hand. 
Twice he read it, and kissed it, and looked up to me with eyes 
which said plainly, ' I am the happiest of men ! ' Only he 
and I know what was written in this first letter from his true 
love. Yes, I remember another pair of eyes. It is wonder- 
ful how our thoughts fly about ! There was a funeral proces- 
sion in the street : the young beautiful lady lay in the deco- 
rated hearse, in a coffin adorned with flowers and wreaths ; and 
a number of torches quite darkened my light. The people 
stood in crowds by the houses, and all followed the procession. 
But when the torches had passed from before my face, and I 
looked round, a single person stood leaning against my post, 
weeping. I shall never forget the mournful eyes that looked 
up to me ! " 

This and similar thoughts occupied the old Street Lantern, 
which shone to-night for the last time. 

The sentry relieved from his post, at least knows who is to 
succeed him, and may whisper a few words to him ; but the 
Lamp did not know its successor; and yet it might have given 
a few useful hints with respect to rain and fog, and some in- 
formation as to how far the rays of the mocn lit up the pave- 
ment, from what direction the wind usually came, and much 
more of the same kind. 

On the bridge of the gutter stood three persons who wished 
:o introduce themselves to the Lamp, for they thought the 
Lamp itself could appoint its successor. The first was a her 



182 STORIES AND TALES. 

ring's head, that could gleam with light in the darkness. H 
thought it would be a great saving of oil if they put him up 
on the post. Number two was a piece of rotten wood, which 
also glimmers in the dark. He conceived himself descended 
from an old stem, once the pride of the forest. The third 
person was a glow-worm. Where this one had come from the 
Lamp could not imagine ; but there it was, and it could give 
light. But the rotten wood and the herring's head swore by 
all that was good that it only gave light at certain times, and 
could not be brought into competition with themselves. 

The old Lamp declared that not one of them gave sufficient 
light to fill the office of a street lamp ; but not one of them 
would believe this. When they heard that the Lamp had not 
the office to give away, they were very glad of it, and de- 
clared that the Lamp was too decrepit to make a good choice. 

At the same moment the Wind came careering from the 
corner of the street, and blew through the air-holes of the old 
Street Lamp. 

" What's this I hear ? " he asked. " Are you to go away 
to-morrow ? Do I see you for the last time ? Then I must 
make you a present at parting. I will blow into your brain- 
oox in such a way that you shall be able in future not only to 
remember everything you have seen and heard, but that you 
shall have such light within you as shall enable you to see all 
that is read of or spoken of in your presence." 

" Yes, that is really much, very much ! " said the old Lamp. 
' I thank you heartily. I only hope I shall not be melted 
down." 

" That is not likely to happen at once," said the Wind. 
" Now I will blow a memory into you : if you receive several 
presents ot this kind, you may pass your old da}s very agree- 
ably." 

"If I am only not melted down! " said the Lamp again, 
*' Or should I retain my memory even in that case ? " 

" Be sensible, old Lamp," said the Wind. And he blew 
and at that moment the Moon stepped forth from behind the 
clouds. 

" What will you give the old Lamp ? " asked the Wind. 

" I'll give nothing," replied the Moon. " I am on the wane 



THE OLD STREET LAMP. 183 

and the lamps never lighted me ; but, on the contrary, I've 
often given light for the lamps." 

And with these words the Moon hid herself again behind 
the clouds, to be safe from further importunity. 

A drop now fell upon the Lamp, as if from the roof; but 
the diop explained that it came from the clouds, and was a 
present perhaps the best present possible. 

" I shall penetrate you so completely that you shall receive 
the faculty, if you wish it, to turn into rust in one night, and 
to crumble into dust" 

The Lamp considered this a bad present, and the Wind 
thought so too. 

" Does no one give more ? does no one give more ? " it blew 
as loud as it could. 

Then a bright shooting star fell down, forming a long bright 
stripe. 

" What was that? " cried the Herring's Head. " Did not a 
star fall ? I really think it went into the Lamp ! Certainly 
if such high-born personages try for this office, we may say 
good-night and betake ourselves home." 

And so they did, all three. But the old Lamp shed a mar- 
velous strong light around. 

" That was a glorious present," it said. " The bright stars 
which I have always admired, and which shine as I could 
never shine though I shone with all my might, have noticed 
me, a poor old lamp, and have sent me a present, by giving 
me the faculty that all I remember and see as clearly as if it 
stood before me, shall also be seen by all whom I love. 
And in this lies the true pleasure ; for joy that we cannot 
share with others is only half enjoyed." 

" That sentiment does honor to your heart," said the Wind. 
" Bat for that wax-lights are necessary. If these are not lit 
up in you, your rare faculties will be of no use to others. 
Lock you, the stars did not think of tnat ; they take you and 
every other light for wax. But I will go down." And he 
went down. 

" Good heavens ! wax -lights ! " exclaimed the Lamp. " I 
never had those till now / nor am I likely to get them ! If I 
am only nox melted down ! " 



184 STORIES AND TALES. 

The next day yes, it will be best that we pass over tht 
next day. The next evening the Lamp was resting in a 
grandfather's chair. And guess where ! In the watchman's 
dwelling. He had begged as a favor of the mayor and the 
ccxmcil that he might keep the Street Lamp, in consideration 
of his long and faithful service, for he himself had put up and 
lit the lantern for the first time on the first day of entering on 
his duties four and twenty years ago. He looked upon it as 
his child, for he had no other. And the Lamp was given to 
him. 

Now it lay in the great arm-chair by the warm stove. It 
seemed as if the Lamp had grown bigger, now that it occu- 
pied the chair all alone. 

The old people sat at supper, and looked kindly at the old 
Lamp, to whom they would willingly have granted a place at 
their table. 

Their dwelling was certainly only a cellar two yards below 
the foot-way, and one had to cross a stone passage to get into 
the room. But within it was very comfortable and warm, and 
strips of list had been nailed to the door. Everything looked 
clean and neat, and there were curtains round the bed and 
the little windows. On the window-sill stood two curious 
flower-pots, which sailor Christian had brought home from the 
East or West Indies. They were only of clay, and repre- 
sented two elephants. The backs of these creatures had 
been cut off; and instead of them there bloomed from within 
the earth with which one elephant was filled, some very ex- 
cellent chives, and that was the kitchen garden ; out of the 
other grew a great geranium, and that was the flower garden. 
On the wall hung a great colored print representing the Con- 
gress of Vienna. There you had all the Kings and Emperors 
at once. A clock with heavy weights went " tick ! tick ! " 
and in fact it always went too fast ; but the old people de- 
clared this was far better than if it went too slow. They ate 
their supper, and the Street Lamp lay, as I have said, in the 
arm-cbair close beside the stove. It seemed to the Lamp as 
if the whole world had been turned round. But when the 
old watchman looked at it, and spoke of all that they two had 
gone through in rain and in fog, in the bright short nights o* 



THE OLD STREET LAMP. 185 

summer and in the long winter nights, when the sncw beat 
down, and one longed to be at home in the cellar, then the 
old Lamp found its wits again. It saw everything as clearly 
as if it was happening then ; yes, the Wind had kindled a 
capital light for it. 

The old people were very active and industrious ; not a 
single hour was wasted in idleness. On Sunday afternoon 
some book or other was brought out ; generally a book of 
travels. And the old man read aloud about Africa, about the 
great woods, with elephants running about wild ; and the old 
woman listened intently, and looked furtively at the clay e'e- 
phants which served for flower-pots. 

"I can almost imagine it to myself!" said she. 

And the Lamp wished particularly that a wax candle had 
been there, and could be lighted up in it ; for then the old 
woman would be able to see everything to the smallest detail, 
just as the Lamp saw it the tall trees with great branches 
all entwined, the naked black men on horseback, and whole 
droves of elephants crashing through the reeds with their 
broad clumsy feet. 

" Of what use are all my faculties if I can't obtain a wax- 
light ? " sighed the Lamp. " They have only oil and tallow 
candles, and that's not enough." 

One day a great number of wax candle ends came down 
into the cellar : the larger pieces were burned, and the smaller 
ones the old woman used for waxing her thread. So there 
were wax candles enough ; but no one thought of putting a 
little piece into the Lamp. 

" Here I stand with my rare faculties ! " thought the Lamp. 
" I carry everything within me, and cannot let them partake 
of it ; they don't know that I am able to cover these white 
walls with the most gorgeous tapestry, to change them into 
noble forests, and all that they can possibly wish." 

The Lamp, however, was kept neat and clean, and stood 
all shining in a corner, where it caught the eyes of all. Stran- 
gers considered it a bit of old rubbish ; but the old people 
Jid not care for that ; they loved the Lamp. 

One day it was the old watchman's birthday the old 
woman approached the Lamp, smiling to herself, and said, 



J 86 STORIES AND TALES. 

tl I'll make an illumination to-day, in honor of my old 

man ! " 

And the Lamp rattled its metal cover, for it thought, " Well, 
at last there will be a light within me." But only oil was 
produced, and no wax-light appeared. The Lamp burned 
throughout the whole evening, but now understood, only too 
well, that the gift of the stars would be a hidden treasuie foi 
all its life. Then it had a dream : for one possessing its rare 
faculties to dream was not difficult. It seemed as if the old 
people were dead, and that itself had been taken to the iron, 
foundry to be melted down. It felt as much alarmed as on 
that day when it was to appear in the council-house to be 
inspected by the mayor and council. But though the power 
had been given to it to fall into rust and dust at will, it did 
not use this power. It was put into the furnace, and turned 
into an iron candlestick, as fair a candlestick as you would 
desire one on which wax-lights were to be burned. It had 
received the form of an angel holding a great nosegay ; and 
the wax-light was to be placed in the middle of the nosegay. 

The candlestick had a place assigned to it on a green 
writing table. The room was very comfortable ; many books 
stood round about the walls, which were hung with beautiful 
pictures : it belonged to a poet. Everything that he wrote or 
composed showed itself round about him. Nature appeared 
sometimes in thick dark forests, sometimes in beautiful mead- 
ows, where the storks strutted about ; sometimes again in a 
ship sailing on the foaming ocean, or in the blue sky with all 
*ts stars. 

" What faculties lie hidden in me ! " said the old Lamp, 
when it awoke. " I could almost wish to be melted down ! 
But, no ! that must not be so long as the old people live. 
They love me for myself; they have cleaned me and bought 
me oil. I am as well off now as the whole Congress, in look- 
ing at which they also take pleasure." 

And from that time it enjoyed more inward peace , and 
ths honest old Street Lamp had well deserved to enioy it 



EVERYTHING IN ITS RIGHT PLACE. 

IT is more than a hundred years ago. 
Behind the wood, by the great lake, stood the old cait> 
nial mansion. Round about it lay a deep moat, in which gre* 
reeds and grass. Close by the bridge, near the entrance 
gate, rose an old willow-tree that bent over the reeds. 

Up from the hollow lane sounded the clang of horns and 
the trampling of horses , therefore the little girl who kept the 
geese hastened to drive her charges away from the bridge, 
before the hunting company should come galloping up. They 
drew near with such speed that the girl was obliged to climb 
up in a hurry, and perch herself on the coping-stone of the 
bridge, lest she should be ridden down. She was still half 
a child, and had a pretty light figure, and a gentle expression 
in her face, with two clear blue eyes. The noble baron took 
no note of this, but as he galloped past the little goose-herd 
he reversed the whip he held in his hand, and in rough sport 
gave her such a push in the chest with the butt-end that she 
fell backward into the ditch. 

" Everything in its place ! " he cried ; " into the puddle 
with you ! " And he laughed aloud, for this was intended 
for wit, and the company joined in his mirth : the whole party 
shouted and clamored, and the dogs barked their loudest. 

Fortunately for herself, the poor girl in falling seized one 
of the hanging oranches of the willow-tree, by means of which 
she kept herself suspended over the muddy water, and as soon 
as the baron and his company had disappeared through the 
castle-gate, the girl tried to scramble up again ; but the bough 
broke off at the top, and she would have fallen backward 
among the reeds, if a strong hand from above had not at 
that moment seized her. It was the hand of a peddler, who 
*iad seen from a short distance what had happened, and who 
aow hurried up to give aid. 



1 88 STORIES AND TALES. 

" Everything in its right place ! " he said, mimicking th 
gracious baron ; and he drew the little maiden up to the 
firm ground. He would have restored the broken branch to 
the place from which it had been torn, but "everything in its 
place " cannot always be managed, and therefore he stuck the 
piece in the ground. " Grow and prosper till you can furnish 
a good flute for them up yonder," he said ; for he would have 
liked to play the " rogue's march " for my lord the baron and 
my lord's whole family. And then he betook himself to the 
castl 2, but not into the ancestral hall : he was too humble for 
that ! He went to the servant's quarters, and the men and 
maids turned over his stock of goods, and bargained with 
him ; and from above, where the guests were at table, came a 
sound of roaring and screaming that was intended for song, 
and indeed they did their best. Loud laughter, mingled with 
the barking and howling of dogs, sounded through the win 
dows, for there was feasting and carousing up yonder. Wine 
and strong old ale foamed in the jugs and glasses, and the dogs 
sat with their masters and dined with them. They had the 
peddler summoned up stairs, but only to make fun of him. 
The wine had mounted into their heads, and the sense had 
flown out. They poured wine into a stocking, that the ped- 
dler might drink with them, but that he must drink quickly , 
that was considered a rare jest, and was the cause of fresh 
laughter. And then whole farms, with oxen and peasants 
too, were staked on a card, and lost and won. 

" Everything in its right place ! " said the peddler, when he 
had at last made his escape out of what he called ; ' the Sodom 
and Gomorrah up yonder, " " The open high-road is m> 
right place," he said ; " I did not feel at all happy there." 

And the little maiden who sat keeping the geese nodded at 
bra. in a friendly way, as he strode along beside the hedges. 

And days and weeks went by ; and it became manifest 
that the willow branch which the peddler had stuck into the 
ground by the castle moat remained fresh and green, and even 
bi ought forth new twigs. The little goose-girl saw that the 
jranch must have taken root, and rejoiced greatly at the cir 
Sumstance ; for this tree, she said, was now her tree. 

The tree certainly came forward well ; but everything els* 



EVERYTHING IN ITS RIGHT PLACE. 189 

belonging to the castle went very rapidly back, what with 
feasting and gambling for these two are like wheels, upon 
which no man can stand securely. 

Six years had not passed away before the noble lord passed 
out of the castle gate, a beggared man, and the mansion wus 
bought by a rich dealer ; and this purchaser was the very 
man who had once been made a jest of there, for whom wine 
had been poured into a stocking ; but honesty and industry 
are good winds to speed a vessel ; and now the dealer ,va3 
possessor of the baronial estate. But from that hour no more 
card-playing was permitted there. 

" That is bad reading," said he : " when the Evil One saw 
a Bible for the first time, he wanted to put a bad book against 
it, and invented card-playing." 

The new proprietor took a wife, and who might that be but 
the goose-girl, who had always been faithful and good, and 
looked as beautiful and fine in her new clothes as if she had 
been born a great lady. And how did all this come about ? 
That is too long a story for our busy time, but it really hap- 
pened, and the most important part is to come. 

It was a good thing now to be in the old mansion. The 
mother managed the domestic affairs, and the father superin- 
tended the estate, and it seemed as if blessings were stream- 
ing down. Where rectitude enters in, prosperity is sure to 
follow. The old house was cleaned and painted, the ditches 
were cleared, and fruit-trees planted. Everything wore a 
bright cheerful look, and the floors were as polished as a 
draught-board. In the long winter evenings the lady sat at 
the spinning-wheel with her maids, and every Sunday evening 
there was a reading from the Bible by the Councilor of Jus- 
tice himself this title the dealer had gained, though it was 
only in his old age. The children grew up for children had 
come and they received the best education, though all had 
not equal abilities as we find indeed in all families. 

In the mean time the willow branch at the castle gate had 
grown to be a splendid tree, which stood there free and self- 
sustained. " That is our genealogical tree," the old people 
said, and the tree vas to be honored and respected so they 
tld all the children, even those who had not very good head* 



STORIES AND TALES. 

And a hundred years rolled by. 

It was in our own time. The lake had been converted 
to moorland, and the old mansion had almost disappeared. 
A pool of water and the ruins of some walls, this was all 
that was left of the old baronial castle, with its deep moat ; 
and here stood also a magnificent old willow, with pendant 
boughs, which seemed to show how beautiful a tree may be 
if left to itself. The main stem was certainly split from the 
root to the crown, and the storm had bowed the noble tree 
a little ; but it stood firm for all that, and from every cleft into 
which wind and weather had carried a portion of earth, 
grasses and flowers sprang forth ; especially near the top, 
where the great branches parted, a sort of hanging garden 
had been formed of wild raspberry bush, and even a small 
quantity of mistletoe had taken root, and stood slender and 
graceful, in the midst of the old willow, which was mirrored 
in the dark water. A field-path led close by the old tree. 

High by the forest hill, with a splendid prospect in every 
direction, stood the new baronial hall, large and magnificent, 
with panes of glass so clearly transparent, that it looked as if 
there were no panes there at all. The grand flight of steps 
that led to the entrance looked like a bower of roses and 
broad-leaved plants. The lawn was as freshly green as if 
each separate blade of grass were cleaned morning and even- 
ing. In the hall hung costly pictures ; silken chairs and sofas 
stood there, so easy that they looked almost as if they could 
run by themselves ; there were tables of great marble slabs, 
and books bound in morocco and gold. Yes, truly, people of 
rank lived here : the baron with his family. 

All things here corresponded with each other. The motto 
was still " Everything in its right place ; " and therefore all the 
pictures which had been put up in the old house for honor and 
glory, hung now in the passage that led to the servants' hall : 
they were considered as old lumber, and especially two old 
portraits, one representing a man in a pink coat and powdered 
wig, the other a lady with powdered hair and holding a rose 
in her hand, and each surrounded with a wreath of willow 
leaves. These two pictures were pierced with many holeSi 
because the little barons were in the habit of setting up the 



EVERYTHING IN ITS RIGHT PLACE. 1 91 

old people as a mark for their cross-bows. The pictures repre 
sented the Councilor of Justice and his lady, the founders of 
the present family. 

" But they did not properly belong to our family," said one 
of the little barons. " He was a dealer, and she. had kept the 
geese. They were not like papa and mamma." 

The pictures were pronounced to be worthless ; and as the 
motto was " Everything in its right place," the great grand 
mother and great grandfather were sent into the passage tha* 
led to the servants' hall. 

The son of the neighboring clergyman was tutor in the great 
house. One day he was out walking with his pupils, the little 
barons and their eldest sister, who had just been confirmed ; 
they came along the field-path past the old willow, and as they 
walked on the young lady bound a wreath of field flow- 
ers, u Everything in its right place," and the flowers formed a 
pretty whole. At the same time she heard every word that 
was spoken, and she liked to hear the clergyman's son talk of 
the power of nature, and of the great men and women in his- 
tory. She had a good hearty disposition, witn true nobility 
of thought and soul, and a heart full of love for all that God 
had created. 

The party came to a halt at the old wiLow-tree. The 
youngest baron insisted on having such a flute cut for him 
from it as he had had made of other willows. Accordingly, 
the tutor broke off a branch. 

" O, don't do that ! " cried the young baroness ; but it was 
done already. " That is our famous old tree," she continued, 
" and I love it dearly. They laugh at me at home for this, 
but I don't mind. There is a story attached to this tree." 

And she told what we all know about the tree, about the 
old mansion, the peddler and the goose-girl, who had met for 
the first time in this spot, and had afterward become the 
founders of the noble family to which the young barons be- 
longed. 

" They would not be ennobled, the good old folks ! " she said. 
" They kept to the motto. * Everything in its right place ; ' and 
accordingly they thought it would be out of place for them to 
purchase a title w'th money. My grandfather, the first baroa 



STORIES AND TAL&S. 

their son. He is said to have been a very learned man, 
popular with princes and princesses, and a frequent guest 
at the court festivals. The others at home love him best ; 
but I don't know how, there seems to me something about 
that first pair that draws my heart toward them. How com- 
fortable, how patriarchal it must have been in the old hous,e, 
s'here the mistress sat at the spinning-wheel among hei maids, 
ind the old master read aloud from the Bible ! " 

* They were charming, sensible people," said the clergyman's 
son. 

And with this the conversation naturally fell upon nobles 
and citizens. The young man scarcely seemed to belong to 
the citizen class, so well did he speak concerning the purpose 
and meaning of nobility. He said, " It is a great thing to be- 
long to a family that has distinguished itself, and thus to have, 
as it were, in one's blood, a spur that urges one on to make 
progress in all that is good. It is delightful to have a name 
that serves as a card of admission into the highest circles. No- 
bliity means that which is great and noble : it is a coin that has 
received a stamp to indicate what it is worth. It is the fallacy 
of the time, and many poets have frequently maintained this 
fallacy, that nobility of birth is accompanied by foolishness, 
and that the lower you go among the poor, the more does 
everything around you shine. But that is not my view, for 
I consider it entirely false. In the higher classes many beau- 
tiful and kindly traits are found. My mother told me one of 
this kind, and I could tell you many others. 

" My mother was on a visit to a great family in town. My 
fjrand mother, I think, had been housekeeper to the count's 
mother. The great nobleman and my mother were alone in 
the room, when the former noticed that an old woman came 
limping on crutches into the court-yard. Indeed, she was ac- 
customed to come every Sunday, and carry away a gift with 
her. ' Ah, there is the poor old lady/ said the nobleman 
' walking is a great toil to her ; ' and before my mother under- 
stood what he meant, he had gone out of the room and run 
down the stairs, to save the old woman the toilsome walk, by 
Carrying to her the gift she had come to receive. 

"Now, that was only a small circumstance, but, T\ke th 



EVERYTHING IN ITS RIGHT PLACE. 193 

widow's two mites in the Scripture, it has a sound that finds 
an echo in the depths of the heart in human nature ; and these 
are the things the poet should show and point out ; especially 
in these times should he sing of it, for that does good, and 
pacifies and unites men. But where a bit of mortality, because 
it has a genealogical tree and a coat of arms, rears up like an 
Arabian horse, and prances in the street, and says in the room, 
* People out of the street have been here,' when a commoner 
feas been that is nobility in decay, and become a mere mask 
a mask of the kind that Thespis created ; and people are 
glad when such a one is turned into satire." 

This was the speech of the clergyman's son. It was cer- 
tainly rather long, but then the flute was being finished while 
he made it. 

At the castle there was a great company. Many guests 
came from the neighborhood and from the capital. Many la 
dies, some tastefully and others tastelessly dressed, were there, 
and the great hall was quite full of people. The clergymen 
from the neighborhood stood respectfully congregated in a 
corner, which made it look almost as if there were to be a 
burial there. But it was not so, for this was a party of pleas- 
ure, only that the pleasure nad not yet begun. 

A great concert was to be performed, and consequently 
the little baron had brought in his willow flute ; but he could 
not get a note out of it, nor could his papa, and therefore the 
flute was worth nothing. There was instrumental music and 
song, both of the kind that delight the performers most quite 
charming ! 

"You are a performer?" said a cavalier his father's son 
and nothing else to the tutor. " You play the flute and 
make it too that's genius. That should command, and 
should have the place of honor! " 

*' No, indeed," replied the young man, " I only advance 
with the times, as every one is obliged to do." 

" O, you will enchant us with the little instrument, will you 
not ? " ' 

Ana with these words he handed to the clergyman's son the 
flute cut from the willow-tree by the pool, and announced aloud 
tfiat the tutor was about to perform sclo en that instrument 



194 STORIES AND TALE*. 

New, they only wanted to make fun of him, that was easili 
geen ; and therefore the tutor would not play, though indeed 
he could do so very well ; but they crowded round him and im- 
portuned him so strongly, that at last he took the flute and 
put it to his lips. 

That was a wonderful flute ! A sound, as sustained as that 
^Rihich is emitted by the whistle of a steam-engine, and much 
stronger, echoed far over court-yard, garden, and wood, miles 
away into the country ; and simultaneously with the tone came 
a rushing wind that roared, " Everything in its right place ! " 
And papa flew as if carried by the wind straight out of the 
hall and into the shepherd's cot ; and the shepherd flew, noi 
into the hall for there he could not come no, but into the 
room of the servants, among the smart lackeys who strutted 
about there in silk stockings j and the proud servants were 
struck motionless with horror at the thought that such a per- 
sonage dared to sit down to table with them. 

But in the hall the young baroness flew up to the place of 
honor at the top of the table, where she was worthy to sit ; 
and the young clergyman's son had a seat next to her ; and 
there the two sat as if they were a newly-married pair. An 
old count of one of the most ancient families in the country 
remained untouched in his place of honor ; for the flute was 
just, as men ought to be. The witty cavalier, the son of his 
father and nothing else, who had been the cause of the flute- 
playing, flew head over heels into the poultry-house but not 
alone. 

For a whole mile round about the sounds of the flute were 
heard, and singular events took place. A rich banker's family, 
driving along in a coach and four, was blown quite out of the 
carriage, and could not even find a place on the footboard at 
the back. Two rich peasants, who in our times had grown too 
high for their corn-fields, were tumbled into the ditch. It was 
a dangerous flute, that : luckily, it burst at the first note ; and 
that was a good-thing, for then it was put back into the owner's 
pocket " Every thing in its right place." 

The day afterward not a word was said about this marvel- 
ous event ; and thence has come the expression, " Pocketing 
the flute." Everything was in its usual order, only that the two 



EVERYTHING IN ITS RIGHT PLACE. 95 

old portraits of the dealer and the goose-girl hung on the waL 
in the banqueting-hall. They had been blown up yonder, and 
as one of the real connoisseurs said they had been painted by 
a master's hand, they remained where they were, and were 
restored. " Everything in its right place." 

And to that it will come ; for hereafter is long longer 
tfeift story. 



A THOUSAND YEARS. 

YES, in a thousand years people will fly on the wings of 
steam through the air, over the ocean ! The young in- 
habitants of America will become visitors of old Europe. 
They will come over to see the monuments and the grea* 
cities, which will then be in ruins, just as we in our time ir.ake 
pilgrimages to the tottering splendors of Southern Asia. In a 
thousand years they will come ! 

The Thames, the Danube, and the Rhine still roll their 
course, Mont Blanc stands firm with its snow-capped summit, 
and the Northern Lights gleam over the lands of the North ; 
but generation after generation has become dust, whole rows 
of the mighty of the moment are forgotten, like those who 
already slumber under the hill on which the rich trader whose 
ground it is has built a bench, on which he can sit and look 
out across his waving corn-fields. 

" To Europe ! " cry the young sons of America ; " to the 
land of our ancestors, the glorious land of monuments and 
fancy to Europe ! ): 

The ship of the air comes. It is crowded with passengers, 
for the transit is quicker than by sea. The electro-magnetic 
wire under the ocean has already telegraphed the number of 
the aerial caravan. Europe is in sight : it is the coast of 
Ireland that they see, but the passengers are still asleep ; 
they will not be called till they are exactly over England. 
There they will first step on European shore, in the land of 
Shakespeare as the educated call it ; in the land of politics, 
the land of machines, as it is called by others. 

1 lere they stay a whole day. That is all the time the busy 
race can devote to the whole of England and Scotland 
Then the journey is continued through tlu tunnel under the 
English Channel, to France, the land of Charlemagne and 
Napoleon. Moliere is named : the learned men talk of tha 



IN A THOUSAND YEARS. 

classic school of remote antiquity: there is rejoicing and 
shouting for the names of heroes, poets, and men of science, 
whom our time does not know, but who will be born after our 
time in Paris, the centre of Europe, and elsewhere. 

The air steamboat flies over the country whence Columbus 
went forth, where Cortez was born, and where Calderon sang 
dramas in sounding verse. Beautiful black-eyed women live 
still in the blooming valleys, and the oldest scngs speak of 
the Cid and the Alhambra. 

Then through the air, over the sea, to Italy, where once lay 
old, everlasting Rome. It has vanished ! The Campagna 
lies desert : a single ruined wall is shown as the remains of 

o 

St. Peter's, but there is a doubt if this ruin be genuine. 

Next to Greece, to sleep a night in the grand hotel at the 
top of Mount Olympus, to say that they have been there ; 
and the journey is continued to the Bosphorus, to rest there a 
few hours, and see the place where Byzantium lay ; and where 
the legend tells that the harem stood in the time of the Turks, 
poor fishermen are now spreading their nets. 

Over the remains of mighty cities on the broad Danube, 
cities which we in our time know not, the travellers pass ; 
but here and there, on the rich sites of those that time shall 
bring forth, the caravan sometimes descends, and departs 
thence again. 

Down below lies Germany, that was once covered with a 
close net of railways and canals, the region where Luther 
spoke, where Goethe sang, and Mozart once held the sceptre 
of harmony. Great names shine there, in science and in art, 
names that are unknown to us. One day devoted to seeing 
Germany, and one for the North, the country of Orsted and 
Linnasus, and for Norway, the land of the old heroes and the 
young Normans. Iceland is visited on the journey home : 
the geysers burn no more, Heel a is an extinct volcano, but 
the rocky island is still fixed in the midst of the foaming sea, 
a continual monument of legend and poetry. 

" There is really a great deal to be seen in Europe," says 
the young American, ' : and we have seen it in a week, accord- 
ing to the directions of the great traveller "' (and here he 
mentions the name of one of his contemporaries) " in his 
celebrated work, ' How to see all Europe in a Weelr ' 



A STRING OF PEARLS. 

AS yet the railroad in Denmark extends only as far as from 
Copenhagen to Corsor ; it is a chain of pearls. Europe 
has abundance of pearls far larger and more costly, such as 
Paris, London, Vienna, Naples. And yet many a man will 
point out as his favorite, choicest pearl, no such famous city 
as one of these, but, on the contrary, some little unnoticeable 
town, which is yet to him the home of homes, the dwelling- 
place of those dearest to him. Nay, often would he select, 
not a town at all, but only a single little house, half hidden 
among green hedges, a mere point hardly seen as the train 
rattles past. 

How many pearls can we count on the line from Copenha- 
gen to Corsor? We will consider six, which the majority 
must take note of ; six to which old memories give a peculiar 
beauty and lustre. 

Close by the hill where stands Frederick the Sixth's palace, 
tue home of Oehlenschlager's 1 chilhood, and sheltered by a 

1 Adam Gottlob Oehlenschlager, born 1779, died 1850, a Danish poet 
* hose fame became European. He is best known as a tragic dramatist. 
Oehlenschlager's father combined the offices of organist and steward at 
" Friederiksberg " (the royal palace alluded to by Andersen), and here the 
young poet spent his early days ; not uninfluenced, perhaps, by the soli- 
tary grandeur which surrounded him during the long winter months when 
that eminently summer residence was deserted by the Court, and he was 
free to wander about through the royal apartments alone, now gazing at 
pictures of kings and heroes, now sitting down to his first study of ro- 
mances and fairy tales amidst a splendor which seemed to belong to them. 
From his earliest days his heart was given to the drama, and after making 
lome fruitless attempts at business and law, circumstances so far favored 
him that after five years of travel in France, Germany, and Italy, he returned 
home to marry his early love, and become established among his own peo- 
Die in name and fame as a tragic dramatist. He received the honor of 
knighthood before his death, and held some official posts of importance 
-M. G. 



A STRING OF PEARLS. 199 

background of woods, glistens one of these pearls ; it used tc 
be called "The Cottage of Philemon and Baucis." For here 
two lovable old people, 1 Rahbek and his wife Gamma, were 
wont to dwell ; here, under this hospitable roof, were ass^m- 
bled all the most intellectual men of the last geneiation, the 
choicest spirits in Copenhagen ; it was the holiday home of 
the intellectual. Nay, do not thou exclaim, " Alas, what a 
change !" for now it is the nursery of the intellect, a conse i ~ 
vatory for sick plants, for the buds that have not strength to 
unfold the beauty of color and form, the capacity for blossom- 
ing and fruit-bearing latent within them. The idiots' home, 
encompassed and guarded by love, is in truth a holy spot, a 
conservatory for the sick plants that shall some day be trans- 
planted hence to blossom in the paradise of God. Here, 
where once the strongest and keenest intellects were met to 
exchange thought and idea, here are now assembled the weak- 

o o 

est ; but still the soul's flame mounts heavenward from " The 
Cottage of Philemon and Baucis." 

Old Roeskilde now lies before us, the home of ancient 
kings ; the slender spires of the church rise above the low- 
built town and mirror themselves in Issefiord. Here we will 
seek out a grave not that of the great Queen Margaret ; no, 
within yonder white-walled church-yard it lies ; an ordinary 
stone covers the spot where reposes the master of the organ ; 
we remember, " There dwelt a king in Leire," etc. Roeskilde, 
thou burial-place of kings ! the pearl for us here is only yon 
insignificant grave-stone, whereon is chiseled a lyre, and the 
lame Weyse. 

Now we come to Sigersted, near Ringsted town ; the bed 
of the river is low ; yellow corn now waves over the spot 
where Hagbarth's boat lay at anchor, not far from Signe'a 
maiden bower. Who knows not the legend of Hagbaith, who 
was hanged on an oak-tree, while Signelil's bower stood in 
flames ? who remembers not that legend of strong love ? 2 

"Beautiful Sorb', encircled by woods!' The quiet oil 
cloister town just peeps out through its moss-grown trees ; the 
youths in the academy can glance across the lake toward the 

1 Kund Lyne Rahbek, Etatsraad and Professor, born 1760 ; die 3 1830. 
See note at the end. 



2CO STORIES AND TA^ES. 

world's highway, and hear the whistl-e and whiz of the train 
as it flies through the wood. Soro, thou pearl indeed, thou 
keepest Holberg's * dust ! Like a great white swan beside 
the deep woodland lake stands thy palace of learning, and 
near it, like the bright star-flower of the groves, gleams a tiny 
house, whence pious hymns reecho throughout the land, where 
words are spoken to which even the peasant listens with de- 
light. As the bird's song to the green wood, so is Ingemann J 
to Soro. 

On ! to the town of Slagelse ! Vanished is Antoorskov 
cloister, vanished the rich halls of the palace, yet one relic of 
old times still lingers here, the wooden cross on the hill yon- 
der ; it has been repaired again, for it marks the spot where, 
according to the legend, St. Anders, 8 the priest of Slagelse, 
waked up, after having been carried from Palestine thither in 
the space of a single night. 

Corsor ! there wast thou born, Baggesen, thou master of 
words and wit ! The ruined old ramparts of the dismantled 

1 Louis, Baron of Holberg, a popular Danish author (of both prose ard 
poetry), born at Bergen in Norway, 1684, died 1754. He struggled with 
many difficulties in the acquisition of learning, but overcame them. " He 
travelled in England, Holland, France, and Italy," says his biographer ; 
" and on his return to his native land, raised himself to fame, fortune, and 
rank, by his literary talents." M. G. 

- Bernhard Severin Ingemann, born in May, 1789, lector at the Academy 
of Soro. 

3 St. Anders made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in the beginning of 
the thirteenth century. When his eleven companions were ready to set 
nail homeward from Joppa, the wind being fair, he refused to depart be- 
fore he had heard mass. So at the end of the service he stood forlorn 
on the shore, gazing sorrowfully on the ship that was bearing his com- 
rades hence. Then came up one mounted on horseback, and invited 
him to ride with him. He did so, but presently fell asleep in the 
stranger's arms, and when he awoke, he looked round and marveled 
greatly, for he was lying on a hill close outside Slagelse ; his compan- 
ions, meantime, were slowly performing their voyage, and did not reach 
Denmark till long afterward. Another legend tells us that when St 
Anders prayed in the open air he was wont to hang up his hat and 
gloves on the sunbeams the while ; once only did they refuse to per- 
torrn this office, and let the gloves fall to tbe ground, and this was when 
one of the people in his convent had scandalized the neighborhood by 
Borne petty theft. Translator. 



A STRING OF PEAXLS. 2OI 

fortress are now the last visible relics of thy childhood's 
home ; their shadows, lengthening at sunset, point out the 
spot where stood thy parents' house. Thou sweet singer ! we 
will weave thee a garland of wild flowers, fling it into the lake, 
and the current will bear it to the coast of Kieler Fiord, 
where rest thine ashes ; the tide shall bring thee a greeting 
from the rising generation a greeting from thy biuhpJace, 
even Corsor, where I let fall the string of pearls. 



"Quite right! it is a string of pearls that stretches from 
Copenhagen to Corsor," said my grandmother, after hearing 
all this read aloud. " It is a row of pearls for me now, and it 
was the same forty years ago," she added. " We had no 
steam-engines then, we spent days over a journey that can 
now be achieved in as many hours. It was in 1815 ; I was 
then one-and-twenty a charming age ! Well, in those days, 
it was a great matter to journey to Copenhagen the town of 
all towns, as we held it. My parents had not been there for 
twenty years ; well, at last they were going, and I with them. 
We had talked about it for years beforehand, and now it had 
actually come to pass ; it seemed as though a new life were 
beginning for me, and so in truth it was, after a fashion. 

" There was such sewing and packing ; and when at last we 
got off, such a crowd of good friends came out to bid us fare- 
well. It was in the forenoon that we drove out of Odense in 
my parents' old-fashioned carriage, our acquaintances nodding 
to us from the windows all down the street, till we passed 
through St. George's Gate. The weather was beautiful, the 
birds sang, everything was a pleasure ; we forgot that it was a 
long and wearisome road to Nyborg. Toward evening we 
reached it ; the post did not arrive before the night, and the 
! ittle sailing vessel had to wait for it. We got on board ; 
there lay before as. as far as we could see, the wide, smooth 
waters. We lay down in our clothes, and went to sleep. 
When I waked up in the morning, and came on deck, nothing 
at all could be seen, mist covered the whole. I heard the cocks 
crowing, and knew by that that it must be sunrise ; the bells 
were ringing, I knew not whence ; then the mist faded a\vay, 
and we found we were still close to Nyborg. A bit of a gal 



2O2 STVglES AND TALES. 

sprung up later in the day, but right against us ; we cruised 
and cruised about, and at last were lucky enough to get to 
Corsor by a little past eleven at night, having spent two-and- 
twenty hours over a distance of sixteen miles. 

'' I was right glad to get on land ; but it was dark, the 
lamps burnt miserably, and all seemed so strange to me, who 
had never been in any town but Odense. 

" ' Look ! Baggesen l was born here,' said my father ; < and 
in this house Birckner 2 lived ! ' And at hearing this, some- 
how the dark old town with its narrow little streets at once 
seemed to grow larger and brighter. And we were so glad to 
have solid earth under our feet. Sleep was out of the ques- 
tion for me, that night. 

" Next morning we had to start early ; we had before us a 
miserable road, with terribly great hillocks and holes as far 
as Slagelse, and afterward there was little improvement, and 
we wanted to get on to ' The Crab ' in good time, and thus be 
able the same day to pay a visit to the miller's Emilius at 
Soro. The miller's Emilius so we called him then he, 
you know, was your grandfather, my late husband the dean 
he was then a student at Soro, and had just passed his sec- 
ond examination. 

" By the afternoon we got to ' The Crab,' which was then the 
very best inn on the whole journey, and such a pretty place ! 
well, that you must allow it is still. And Madame Plam- 
bek was a brisk hostess, and everything in the house was so 
clean and fresh. On the wall hung, framed and under a glass, 
Baggesen's letter to her ; I liked to see that. And we went 
to Soro, and there we found Emilius ; and you may fancy 
how glad we were to see him, and he to see us. He was 
so a^entive and pleasant ; he went with us to see the church, 
to Absalon's grave, and Holberg's ; he looked with us at 
the old monkish inscriptions, and sailed with us aross the 
lake. It was a most delicious evening ! I remember think- 
ing that to become a poet, one need only come to Soro, 
and muse among these lovely, peaceful scenes. Then by 
moonlight we took the 'Philosopher's Walk,' as it is called, 

1 Jens Baggesen, born at Corsor, 1764 ; died in 1826. 

2 Michael Gottlieb Birckner, born 1756 ; died 1798. 



A STRING OF PEARLS. 

the lonely path along the lake-side, joining the high-road neai 
1 The Crab , Emilius stayed and supped with us, and my 
mother declaied he was grown so sensible and looked so well. 
It was just upon Whitsuntide, and in a few days he was to join 
his family at Copenhagen. Ah ! those hours at Sorb and in 
' The Crab Inn,' I reckon them among the choicest pearls of 

life! 

" Next morning we started very early, for it was a long 
journey to Roeskilde, and there we had to see the cathedral, 
and father wanted to visit an old school-fellow in the evening. 
We slept at Roeskilde that night, and by noon next day 
reached Copenhagen. So we had spent three days over a 
journey that can now be taken in three hours, Corsor to Co- 
penhagen. The pearls on the way have not grown more costly 
that could hardly be but the chain is a new one. I 
stayed for three weeks at Copenhagen, and Emilius was with 
us for eighteen days ; and when we journeyed back to Funen, 
he accompanied us as far as Corsor, and there, before we 
parted, we were betrothed ; so it is no wonder that I should 
call the way from Copenhagen to Corsor a string of pearls. 

" Afterward, when Emilius received his cure at Assens, we 
were married. We often talked over our journey to Copenha- 
gen, and proposed taking it again, but then your mother made 
her appearance, and after her came her sisters and brothers, 
and there was so much to do among them all ! And then Emi- 
:ius was made a dean, that was a great pleasure to me I 
Everything was a pleasure ; but, somehow, we never got to 
Copenhagen. And now I am too old to travel by rail, but for 
all that I am right glad of the railway ! it is a real blessing, 
for it brings you young ones quickly to me ! Now, Odense is 
hardly further from Copenhagen than in my youth it was from 
Nyborg ; you can fly to Italy in the time that it took as to 
journey to Copenhagen that is something worth doing ! 
No matter thac I sit, sit here always ; let others travel, so long 
as they travel sometimes to me. And you need not laugh at 
me, you young folks, for sitting so still, day after day, for I 
have really a great journey before me ; I shall soon have to 
-ravel at a pace far swifter than the railway's. For when our 
Lord wills it, I shall go to ioin your grandfather ; and you, 



2O4 STORIES AND TALES. 

too, when you have completed your work on this dear earth, 

will join us also ; and then, if we talk over the days of our 

moital life, believe me, children, I expect to say then as now, 

From Copenhagen to Corsor, it is a perfect chain of pearls!' 

NOTE concerning Hagbarth and Signelil, from Thiele, Danmarks Folke* 
vol ii. " Near Ringsted lies Sigersted, so called after King Si 
who dwelt there. His daughter Signelil loved a warrior named Ha 
boi, or Hagbarth. Once, when she was hunting a stag and followed it 
over Vrangstrup River, her horse fell under her; then leaped Habor into 
the water and saved her life, bringing her safe to an island that may be 
eeen in the river to this day Afterward Habor came to Signelil dis- 
guised as a damsel, but was soon betrayed to King Sigur by Gunvar, 
his daughter's nurse. And when all was discovered, and Habor was 
seized by the King's men, the lovers resolved to die together. Habor 
was led away to be hanged on a hill ; but, wishing to convince himself 
of Signelil's truth, he begged that his cloak might be suspended on 
the gallows, before he himself was hanged, saying he wished to see how 
he should look. In the mean time, his lady-love had flung all her precious 
"hings into a deep hole, still called Signelil's Well whence comes the 
"aying that Sigersted holds more silver and gold than it wots of. She then 
nut herself up in her bower, and watched the gallows where Habor was 
o be hanged. And when she saw his cloak suspended, imagining him to 
"e already dead, she set light to her bower, and Habor, seeing it in flames, 
was assured of her love, and cheerfully offered himself for death. He was 
buried in Hage Hill. But the false handmaiden had no joy of her treach- 
ery, for she was afterward flung into a well, still known as Maiden Well." 
See also Danske Viser jra Middelalderen, and Grimm's Alt-danische Hel- 
denlieder, for divers ballads founded on this, the favorite love- tale for 
more than a thousand years in Denmark. Saxo Grammaticus relates the 
his history, and in liter times Oehlenschlager has written a tragedy 
Ike subject. Translator. 



THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY THING. 

THE one who could do the most extraordinary thing should 
have the king's daughter and the half of his kingdom. 

'J he young men, yes, the old ones too, strained all theii 
wits, their nerves, and muscles ; two ate themselves to death 
and one drank himself dead, to do the Most Extraoidinary 
thing most to their liking. But that was not the way it was to 
be done. The little boys in the street tried to spit on the 
small of their own backs. That seemed to them the most 
extraordinary thing to do. 

On a certain day there was to be an exhibition of what each 
had to show as his " Most Extraordinary." Judges were ap- 
pointed from children cf three years up to folks of ninety. 
It was a grand Exposition of Extraordinary things, but all 
were soon agreed that the Most Extraordinary was a great 
hall clock in a case, singularly contrived outside and in. 
When the clock struck, out came animated figures that showed 
what hour was struck. It was twelve whole representations, 
with moving figures that sang and spoke. It surely was the 
Most Extraordinary thing, said the people. 

The clock struck one, and Moses stood on the Mount and 
wrote down on the tables of the law the first great command- 
ment : " There is one only true God." The clock struck two^ 
and the Garden of Paradise was seen, with Adam and Eve 
electing two happy people ; without owning so mucb as a 
clothes-press they were betrothed. At the stroke of ihret the 
Three Holy Kings appeared, only one of them was black as 
coal : he could not help that, it was the sun that scorched 
him ; they came bringing incense and precious gifts. When 
four sounded, the Seasons came : Spring with a cuckoo on a 
budding beech bough ; Summer with a grasshopper on a ripe 
ear of corn ; Autumn with an empty stork's nest the birds 
*iad flown away; Winter with an old crow that could tell 



STORIES AND TA^ES. 

stories, percned on the corner of the stove, old stones of 
by-gone days. At five o'clock, the five senses were seen 
Sight came in the shape of a spectacle-maker . Hearing wai 
a copper-smith ; Smell sold violets and anemones ; Taste was 
a cook ; and Feeling an undertaker, with crape down to his 
heels. The clock struck six ; there sat a gamester who thre* 
a die, and it fell the highest side up with sixes on it. Then 
the seven days of the week, or the seven deadly sins, folks 
could not tell which, for they heard them all at once, and it 
was not easy to distinguish them. Then came a choir of 
monks and sang the eight o'clock vesper song. At the stroke 
of nine the Nine Muses came out : one was employed at the 
astronomical observatory ; one at the records room ; the rest 
were at the theatre. When ten struck, Moses stepped forth 
with the tables of the law ; thereon were all God's command- 
ments, and they were ten in all. The clock struck again, 
when small boys and girls sprang dancing out ; they played a 
play and sang a song to it. 

" All the way to heaven 
The clock has struck eleven." 

And that it did strike. Now came the stroke of twelve, when 
the watchman marched out with his heavy cape and morning 
star ; * he sang the old watch song, 

" 'Twas at the midnight hour 
Our Saviour, he was born," 

and while he sang, the roses grew and grew into angels' heads 
lasting on rainbow-hued wings. 

It was goodly to hear, it was charming to see. The whole 
thing was an amazing work of art, the Most Extraordinary 
thing, said every one. The artist was a young man, good- 
hearted, child-like, a true friend and help to his poor parents ; 
he was worthy of the princess and the half of the kingdom. 

The day for announcing the decision had come, the whole 
town was dressed up, and the princess sat on the throne of 
the country that had been newly stuffed with curled hair, but 
still it had not been made any more comfortable or agreeable 

1 The popular name for the staff which the watchman used to carry II 
ia a ponderous rluh wifh spikes in the bulging head 




THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY THING. See page 205 



THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY THING. 2O? 

The judges round about looked very slyly at him who WAS to 
get the prize, and he stood there so happy and proud ; his 
fortune was won, he had done the Most Extraordinary thing. 

"Na/, that shall I now do!" suddenly cried out a long* 
legged working- fellow. " I am the man for the Most Extraor- 
dinary thing ! " and so he swung a great axe at the work of 
art. " Crick, crack, crash ! ' there lay the whole thing. 
Wheels and feathers flew about. It was a grand ruin. "I 
could do that !" said the man; "my work has beat his, and 
knocked you at the same time. I have done the Most Ex- 
traordinary thing ! " 

" Ruined such a work of art ! " said the judges ; " yes, that 
was the Most Extraordinary thing." All the people said the 
same thing, and so he was to have the princess and half the 
kingdom ; for a law is a law, even if it is the most extraor- 
dinary thing. 

They sounded the trumpets from the ramparts and from all 
the towers in town : " The nuptials are to be celebrated ! " 
The princess was not particularly pleased at it, but she looked 
pretty and was most expensively dressed. The church was 
bright with lights in the evening ; it looked best then. The 
ladies of rank in the town sang in procession, and led the 
bride ; the knights sang, and they accompanied the bride- 
groom ; he strutted as stiffly as if he never could be knocked 
over. 

Now they stopped singing ; it was so still that one could 
have heard a pin drop on the ground ; but in the midst of the 
quiet there was a great noise and a crash ; the great church 
doors flew open, and " boom ! boom ! ' ;i all the works of the 
clock came marching out through the doorway, and halted 
between the bride and groom. 

Dead men cannot walk again, that we know very .veil, 
but a work of art can go again ! The body was shattered to 
pieces, but not the spirit ; the spirit of art made a joke, and 
ideed it was no joke ! 

The work of art stood there as really as when it was whole 
and untouched. The clock struck one stroke after another, 
right on to twelve, and the figures crowded out : first Moses, 
shining as if flame issued from his forehead ; he flung the. 



2O8 STORIES AND TALES. 

heavy stone tables of the law at the bridegroom's teet and 
fastened them to the church floor. 

" I cannot lift them again ! " said Moses. " You have 
broken my arms ; stand there where you are." 

Now came Adam and Eve, the three Wise Men of the East, 
and the four Seasons ; each said his disagreeable truth, 
" Shame on you ! ' : But he was not ashamed. 

All the figures that showed each hour came forth out of the 
clock, and all grew wondrous big; it was as if there were 
scarcely room for the real men, and when, at the stroke of 
twelve, the watchman stepped forth with his great cape and 
morning star, there was a prodigious confusion. The watch- 
man went straight up to the bridegroom and struck him on 
the forehead with his morning star. 

" Lie there ! " said he. " Like for like ; now we are re- 
venged and the master too. We vanish ! ' 

And so they did vanish, the v/hole of this work of art. 
But the candles round about in the church grew into great 
flowers of light, and the gilded stars under the roof sent forth 
clear streaming light ; the organ sounded of itself. All the 
people said that they had lived to see the Most Extraordinary 
thing. 

" Now do you summon the right one ! " said the princess, 
" the one that made the work of art ; he is to be my lawful 
husband and lord." 

And he stood in the church ; the whole people were his 
train ; all were happy, all blessed him, there was no one whs 
was envious ; yes, that was the Most Extraordinary thing. 



UNDER THE WILLOW-TREE. 

THE region round the little town of Kjoge is very bleak 
and bare. The town certainly lies by the sea-shore, 
which is always beautiful, but just there it might be more 
beautiful than it is : all around are flat fields, and it is a long 
way to the forest. But when one is very much at home in 
a place, one always finds something beautiful, and something 
that one longs for in the most charming spot in the world 
that is strange to us. We confess that, by the utmost bound- 
ary of the little town, where some humble gardens skirt the 
streamlet that falls into the sea, it must be very pretty in sum- 
mer ; and this was the opinion of the two children from 
neighboring houses, who were playing there, and forcing their 
way through the goosberry bushes to get to one another. In 
one of the gardens stood an elder-tree, and in the other an old 
willow, and under the latter especially the children were very 
fond of playing ; they were allowed to play there, though; in- 
deed, the tree stood close beside the stream, and they might 
easily have fallen into the water. But the eye of God watches 
over the little ones ; if it did not, they would be badly off. 
And, moreover, they were very careful with respect to the wa- 
ter ; in fact, the boy was so much afraid of it, that they could 
not lure him into the sea in summer, when the other children 
were splashing about in the waves. Accordingly, he was fa- 
moasly jeered and mocked at, and had to bear the jeering and 
mockery as best he could. But once Joanna, the neighbor's 
tittle girl, dreamed she was sailing in a boat, and Knud waded 
out to join her till the water rose, first to his neck, and after- 
ward closed over his head, so that he disappeared altogether, 
From the time when little Knud heard of this dream, he 
would no longer bear the teasing of the other boys. He 
anight go into the water now he said, for Joanna had dreamed 

u 



2IO STORIES AND TALES. 

it. He certainly never carried the idea into practice, but the 
dream w^s his great guide for all that. 

Their parents, who were poor people, often took tea togeth- 
er, and Knud and Joanna played in the gardens and on the 
high-road, where a row of willows had been planted beside ihe 
skirting ditch ; these trees with their polled tops, certainly did 
not look beautiful, but they were not put there for ornament 
but for use. The old willow-tree in the garden was mucl: 
handsomer, and therefore the children were fond of sitting 
under it. In the town itself there was a great market-place, 
and at the time of the fair this place was covered with whole 
streets of tents and booths, containing silk ribbons, boots, 
and everything that a person could wish for. There was 
great crowding, and generally the weather was rainy ; but it 
did not destroy the fragrance of the honey-cakes and the gin- 
gerbread, of which there was a booth quite full ; and the best 
of it was, that the man who kept this booth came every year 
to lodge during the fair-time in the dwelling of little Knud'* 
father. Consequently there came a present of a bit of ginger 
bread every now and then, and of course Joanna received her 
share of the gift. But perhaps the most charming thing of 
all was that the gingerbread dealer knew all sorts of tales, and 
could even relate histories about his own gingerbread cakes ; 
and one evening, in particular, he told a story about them which 
made such a deep impression on the children that they never 
forgot it ; and for that reason it is perhaps advisable that we 
should hear it too, more especially as the story is not long. 

" On the shop-board," he said, "lay two gingerbread cakes, 
one in the shape of a man with a hat, the other of a maiden 
without a bonnet ; both their faces were on the side that was 
uppermost, for they were to be looked at on that side, and not 
on the other ; and, indeed, most people have a favorable side 
from which they should be viewed. On the left side the man 
wore a bitter almond that was his heart ; but the maiden, 
on the other hand, was honey-cake all over. They were 
placed as samples on the shop-board, and remaining there a 
long time, at last they fell in love with one another, but neithei 
told the other, as they should have done if they had expected 
Anything to come of it. 



UNDER THE WILLOW-TREE. 211 

"'He is a man, and therefore he must speak first,' she 
thought ; but she felt quite contented, for she knew her love 
was returned. 

" His thoughts were far more extravagant, as is always the 
case with a man. He dreamed that he was a real street boy, 
that he had four pennies of his own, and that he purchased 
the maiden and ate her up. So they lay on the shop-board 
for weeks and weeks, and grew dry and hard, but the thoughts 
of the maiden became ever more gentle and maidenly. 

" ' It is enough for me that I have lived on the same table 
with him,' she said, and crack ! she broke in two. 

" ' If she had only known of my love, she would have kept 
together a little longer,' he thought. 

" And that is the story, and here they are, both of them/' 
said the baker in conclusion. " They are remarkable for 
their curious history, and for their silent love, which never 
came to anything. And there they are for you ! " and, so say- 
ing, he gave Joanna the man who was yet entire, and Knud 
got the broken maiden ; but the children had been so much 
impressed by the story that they could not summon courage 
to eat the lovers up. 

On the following day they went out with them to the church- 
yard, and sat down by the church wall, which is covered, 
winter and summer, with the most luxuriant ivy as with a 
rich carpet. Here they stood the two cake figures up in the 
sunshine among the green leaves, and told the story to a 
group of other children ; they told them of the silent love 
which led to nothing. It is called love because the story was 
60 lovely, on that they all agreed. But when they turned to 
look again at the gingerbread pair, a big boy, out of mischief 
had eaten up the broken maiden. The children cried about 
this, and afterward probably that the poor lover might rot 
be left in the world lonely and desolate they ate him ap 
Too ; but they never forgot the story. 

The children were always together by the elder-tree and un- 
der the willow, and the little girl sang the most beautiful songs 
\v.th a voice that was as clear as a bell. Knud, on the othe: 
hand, had not a note of music in him, but he knew the words 
of the songs and that at least was something. The people of 



212 STORIES AND TALES. 

Kjoge, even to the rich wife of the fancy shop-keeper, stood 

still and listened when Joanna sang. " She has a very sweet 
voice, that little girl," they said. 

Those were glorious days, but they could not last forever. 
The neighbors were neighbors no longer. The little maiden's 
mother was dead, and the father intended to marry again, in 
the capital, where he had been promised a living as a messen- 
ger, which was to be a very lucrative office. And the neigh- 
bors separated regretfully, the children weeping heartily, but 
the parents promised that they should at least write to one an- 
other once a year. 

And Knud was bound apprentice to a shoemaker, for thd 
big boy could not be allowed to run wild any longer ; and 
moreover he was confirmed. 

Ah, how gladly on that day of celebration would he have 
been in Copenhagen with little Joanna ! but he remained in 
Kjoge, and had never yet been to Copenhagen, though the 
little town is only five Danish miles distant from the capital ; 
but far across the bay, when the sky was clear, Knud had 
seen the towers in the distance, and on the day of his con- 
firmation he could distinctly see the golden cross on the prin- 
cipal church glittering in the sun. 

Ah, how often his thoughts were with Joanna ! Did she 
think of him ? Yes. Toward Christmas there came a letter 
from her father to the parents of Knud, to say that they were 
getting on very well in Copenhagen, and especially might Jo- 
anna look forward to a brilliant future on the strength of her 
hne voice. She had been engaged in the theatre in which 
people sing, and was already earning some money, out oi 
which she sent her dear neighbors of Kjoge a dollar for the 
merry Christmas Eve. They were to drink her health, she had 
herself added in a postscript ; and in the same postscript theie 
stood further, " A kind greeting to Knud." 

The whole family wept ; and yet all this was very pleasant 
those were joyful tears that they shed. Knud's thoughts 
had been occupied every day with Joanna ; and now he knew 
t'lat she also thought of him ; and the nearer the time can 
when his apprenticeship would be over, the more clearly did 
it appear to him that he was very fond of Toanna, and tba 



UNDER THE WILLOW-TREE. 2 1 3 

ihe must be his wife ; and when he thought of this, a smile 
Lame upon his lips, and he drew the thread twice as fast 
as before, and pressed his foot hard against the knee-strap. 
lie ran the awl far into his finger, but he did not care for that 
He determined not to play the dumb lover, as the two ginger- 
bread cakes had done. The story should teach him a lesson. 

And now he was a journeyman, and his knapsack was 
packed ready for his journey ; at length, for the first time in his 
l:fe, he was to go to Copenhagen, where a master was already 
waiting for him. How glad Joanna would be ! She was now 
seventeen years old, and he nineteen. 

Already in Kjoge he had wanted to buy a gold ring for her 
but he recollected that such things were to be had far better 
in Copenhagen. And now he took leave of his parents, and 
on a rainy day, late in the autumn, went forth on foot out of 
the town of his birth. The leaves were falling down from the 
trees, and he arrived at his new master's in the metropolis wet 
to the skin. Next Sunday he was to pay a visit to Joanna's 
father. The new journeyman's clothes were brought forth, 
and the new hat from Kjoge was put on, which became Knud 
very well, for till this time he had only worn a cap. And he 
found the house he sought, and mounted flight after flight of 
stairs until he became almost giddy. It was terrible to him 
to see how people lived piled up one over the other in the 
dreadful city. 

Everything in the room had a prosperous look, and Jo- 
anna's father received him very kindly. To the new wife he 
was a stranger, but she shook hands with him, and gave him 
some coffee. 

"Joanna will be glad to see you," said the father; "you 
have grown quite a nice young man. You shall see her pres- 
ently. She is a girl who rejoices my heart, and, please (rod, 
she will rejoice it yet more. She has her own room now, and 
pays us rent for it" 

And the father knocked quite politely at the door, as if he 
were a visitor, and then they went in. 

But how pretty everything was in that room ! such an 
apartment was certainly not to be found in all Kjoge : the 
Queen herself could not be more charmingly lodged. There 



214 STORIES AND TALES. 

were carpets, there were window-curtains quite down to the 
Hoor, and around were flowers and pictures, and a mirror into 
which there was almost danger that a visitor might step, for 
it was as large as a door ; and there was even a velvet chair. 

Knud saw all this at a glance ; and yet he saw nothing but 
Joanna. She was a grown n.aiden, quite different from what 
Knud had fancied her, and much more beautiful. In all 
Kjoge there was not a girl like her. How graceful she was, 
and with what an odd unfamiliar glance she looked at Knud 1 
But that was only for a moment, and then she rushed toward 
him as if she would have kissed him. She did not really do 
so, but she came very near it. Yes, she was certainly rejoiced 
at the arrival of the friend of her youth ! The tears were act- 
ually in her eyes ; and she had much to say, and many ques- 
tions to put concerning all, from Knud's parents down to the 
elder-tree and the willow, which she called Elder Mother and 
Willow Father, as if they had been human beings ; and indeed 
they might pass as such, just as well as the gingerbread cakes ; 
and of these she spoke too, and of their silent love, and how 
they had lain upon the shop-board and split in two and 
then she laughed very heartily ; but the blood mounted into 
Knud's cheeks, and his heart beat thick and fast. No, she had 
not grown proud at all. And it was through her he noticed 
it well that her parents invited him to stay the whole even- 
ing with them ; and she poured out the tea and gave him a cup 
with her own hands ; and afterward she took a book and read 
aloud to them, and it seemed to Knud that what she read was 
all about himself and his love, for it matched so well with his 
thoughts ; and then she sang a simple song, but through her 
singing it became like a history, and seemed to be the outpour- 
ing of her very heart. Yes, certainly she was fond of Knud. 
The tears coursed down his cheeks he could not restrain 
them, nor could he speak a single word : he seemed to himself 
as if he were struck dumb ; and yet she pressed his hand, and 
said, 

u You have a good heart, Knud remain always as you are 



oow." 



That was an evening of matchless delight to Knud ; to sleey 
*er it was impossible, and accordingly Knud did not sleept 



UNDER THE WILLOW-TREE. 215 

At parting, Joanna's father had said, " Now, you won't forget 
us altogether ! Don't let the whole winter go by without once 
coming to see us again ; " and therefore he could very well go 
again the next Sunday, and resolved to do so. But every 
evening when working hours were over and they worked by 
candle-light there Knud went out through the town ; he went 
into the street in which Joanna lived, and looked up at her 
window ; it was almost always lit up, and one evening he could 
see the shadow of her face quite plainly on the curtain and 
that was a grand evening for him. His master's wife did not 
like his galivanting abroad every evening, as she expressed it, 
and she shook her head ; but the master only smiled. 

" He is only a young fellow," he said. 

But Knud thought to himself: " On Sunday I shall see her, 
and I shall tell her how completely she reigns in my heart and 
soul, and that she must be my little wife. I know I am only 
a poor journeyman shoemaker, but I shall work and strive 
yes, I shall tell her so. Nothing comes of silent love : I have 
learned that from the cakes." 

And Sunday came round, and Knud sallied forth ; but, un- 
luckily, they were all invited out for that evening, and were 
obliged to tell him so. Joanna pressed his hand and said, 

" Have you ever been to the theatre ? You must go once. 
I shall sing on Wednesday, and if you have time on that even- 
ing, I will send you a ticket ; my father knows where your 
master lives." 

How kind that was of her ! And on Wednesday at noon 
he received a sealed paper, with no words written in it ; but 
''.he ticket was there, and in the evening Knud went to the 
theatre for the first time in his life. And what did he see? 
He saw Joanna, and how charming and how beautiful she 
looked ! She was certainly married to a stranger, but that 
was all in the play something that was only make-believe, 
is Knud knew very well. If it had been real, he thought, 
she would never have had the heart to send him a ticket that 
he might go and see it. And all the people shouted and ap- 
plauded, and Knud cried out " Hurra ! " 

Even the King smiled at Joanna, and seemed to delight in 
her. Ah, how small Knud felt ! but then he loved her so 



2l6 STORIES AND TALES. 

dearly, and thought that she loved him too ; but it \vas for the 
man to speak the first word, as the gingerbread maiden in the 
child's story had taught him ; and there was a great deal for 
him in that story. 

So soon as Sunday came, he went again. He felt as if he 
weie going into a church. Joanna was alone, and received 
him it could not have happened more fortunately. 

" It is well that you are come/' she said. " I had an idea of 
sending my father to you. only I felt a presentiment that vou 
would be here this evening ; for I must tell you that I start for 
France on Friday : I must go there, if I am to become efficient.' 5 

It seemed to Knud as if the whole room were whirling 
round and round with him. He felt as if his heart would 
presently burst ; no tear rose to his eyes, but still it was easy 
to see how sorrowful he was. 

"You honest, faithful soul ! " she exclaimed. 

And these words of hers loosened Knud's tongue. He told 
her how constantly he loved her, and that she must become 
his wife ; and as he said this, he saw Joanna change color and 
turn pale. She let his hand fall, and answered seriously and 
mournfully, 

" Kriud, do not make yourself and me unhappy. I shall 
always be a good sister to you, one in whom you may trust, 
but I shall never be anything more." 

And she drew her white hand over his hot forehead. 

" Heaven gives us strength for much," she said, " if we only 
endeavor to do our best." 

At that moment the stepmother came into the room ; and 
Joanna said quickly, 

" Knud is quite inconsolable because I am going away. 
Come, be a man," she continued, and laid her hand upon his 
shoulder ; and it seemed as if they had been talking of the 
journey and nothing else. " You are a child," she added ; 
" but now you must be good and reasonable, as you used tc 
be under the willow-tree, when we were both children." 

But Knud felt as if the whole world had slid out of its 
course, and his thoughts were like a loose thread fluttering to 
and fro in the wind. He stayed, though he could not remem- 
ber if she had asked him to stay ; and she was kind and goo4 



UNDER THE WILLOW-TREE. 21 J 

and pouied out his tea for him, and sang to him. It had noz 
the old tone, and yet it was wonderfully beautiful, and made his 
heart feel ready to burst. And then they parted. Knud did 
not offer her his hand, but she seized it, and said, 

" Surely you will shake hands with your sister at parting, old 
playfellow!" 

And she smiled through the tears that were rolling over her 
cheeks, and she repeated the word " brother " and certainly 
there was good consolation in that and thus they parted. 

She sailed to France, and Knud wandered about the muddy 
streets of Copenhagen. The other journeymen in the work- 
shop asked him why he went about so gloomily, and told him 
he should go and amuse himself with them, for he was a young 
fellow. 

And they went with him to the dancing-rooms. He saw 
many handsome girls there, but certainly not one like Joanna; 
and here, where he thought to forget her, she stood more viv- 
idly than ever before the eyes of his soul. " Heaven gives us 
strength for a great deal, if we only try to do our best," she 
had said ; and holy thoughts came into his mind, and he folded 
his hands. The violins played, and the girls danced round in 
a circle ; and he was quite startled, for it seemed to him as if 
he were in a place to which he ought not to have brought Jo- 
anna for she was there with him, in his heart ; and accord- 
ingly he went out. He ran through the streets, and passed by 
the house where she had dwelt ; it was dark there, dark every- 
where, and empty, and lonely. The world went on in its 
course, but Knud pursued his lonely way, unheedingly. 

The winter came, and the streams were frozen. Everything 
se'jmed to be preparing for a burial. But when spring re- 
turned, and the first steamer was to start, a longing seized 
him to go away, far, far into the world, but not to France. So 
he packed his knapsack, and wandered far into the German 
land, from city to city, without rest or peace ; and it was not 
till he came to the glorious old city of Nuremberg that he 
could master his restless spirit ; and in Nuremberg, therefore, 
he decided to remain. 

Nuremberg is a wonderful old city, and looks as if it were 
out of an old picture-book. The streets seem to stretch 



2l8 STORIES AND TALF.S. 

themselves along just as they please. The houses do not like 
standing in regular ranks. Gables with little towers, ara 
besques, and pillars, start out over the pathway ; and from the 
strange peaked roofs water-spouts, formed like dragons or 
great slim dogs, extend far over the street. 

Here in the market-place stood Knud, with his knapsack 
on his back. He stood by one of the old fountains that are 
adorned with splendid bronze figures, Scriptural and historical 
rising up between the gushing jets of water. A pretty ser- 
vant-maid was just filling her pails, and she gave Knud a re- 
freshing draught ; and as her hand was full of roses, she gave 
him one of the flowers, and he accepted it as a good omen. 

From the neighboring church the strains of the organ were 
sounding : they seemed to him as familiar as the tones of the 
organ at home at Kjoge ; and he went into the great cathedral. 
The sunlight streamed in through the stained-glass windows, 
between the two lofty slender pillars. His spirit became 
prayerful, and peace returned to his soul. 

And he sought and found a good master in Nuremberg, 
with whom he stayed, and in whose house he learned the Ger- 
man language. 

The old moat round the town has been converted into a 
number of little kitchen gardens ; but the high walls are 
standing yet, with their heavy towers. The rope-maker twists 
his ropes on a gallery or walk built of wood, inside the town 
wall, where elder bushes grow out of the clefts and cracks, 
spreading their green twigs over the little, low houses that 
stand below ; and in one of these dwelt the master with whom 
Knud worked ; and over the little garret window at which 
Knud sat the elder waved its branches. 

Here he lived through a summer and a winter ; but when 
the spring came again he could bear it no longer. The elder 
was in blossom, and its fragrance reminded him so of home, 
that he fancied himself back in the garden at Kjoge ; and 
therefore Knud went away from his master, and dwelt with 
another farther in the town, over whose house no elder bush 
grew. 

His workshop was quite close to one of the old stone 
br'dges, by a low water -mill, that rushed and foamed always 



UNDER TH& WILLOW-TREE. 2IQ 

Without, rolled the roaring stream, hemmed in by houses, 
whose old decayed gables looked ready to topple down into 
the water. No elder grew here there was not even a flower 
pot with its little green plant ; but just opposite the workshop 
stood a great old willow-tree, that seemed to cling fast to the 
house, for fear of being carried away by the water, and whicb 
stretched forth its branches over the river, just as the willow 
at Kjoge spread its arms across the streamlet by the garde 1 /.* 
there. 

Yes, he had certainly gone from the " Elder Mother " to the 
"Willow Father." The tree here had something, especially on 
moonlight evenings, that went straight to his heart and 
that something was not in the moonlight, but in the old tree 
itself. 

Nevertheless, he could not remain. Why not ? Ask the 
willow-tree, ask the blooming elder ! And therefore he bade 
farewell to his master in Nuremberg, and journeyed onward. 

To no one did he speak of Joanna in his secret heart 
he Rid his sorrow ; and he thought of the deep meaning 
in the old childish story of the two cakes. Now he under- 
stood why the man had a bitter almond in his breast he 
himself felt the bitterness of it ; and Joanna, who was always 
so gentle and kind, was typified by the honey-cake. The 
strap of his knapsack seemed so tight across his chest that he 
could scarcely breathe ; he loosened it, but was not relieved. 
He saw but half the world around him ; the other half he 
carried about him and within himself. And thus it stood with 
him. 

Not till he came in sight of the high mountains did the 
world appear freer to him ; and now kis thoughts were turned 
without, and tears came into his eyes. 

The Alps appeared to him as the folded wings of the earth ; 
Cow if they were to unfold themselves, and display their vari-^ 
gated pictures of black woods, foaming waters, clouds, and 
masses of snow? At the last day, he. thought, the world will 
lift up its great wings, and mount upward toward the sky, 
and burst like a soap-bubble in the glance of the Highest ! 

" Ah," sighed he, " that the Last Day were come ! " 

Silently he wandered through the land, that seemed to him 



22O STORIES AND TALES. 

as an orchard covered with soft tinf. From the wooden bal 
conies of the houses the girls who sat busy with their lace> 
making nodded at him ; the summits of the mountains glowed 
in the red sun of the evening ; and when he saw the green 
lakes gleany.ng among the dark trees, he thought of the coast 
by the Bay of Kjoge, and there was a longing in his bosom, 
b'Jt it was pain no more. 

There where the Rhine rolls onward like a great billow, and 
bursts, and is changed into snow-white, gleaming, cloud-like 
masses, as if clouds were being created there, with the rainbow 
fluttering like a loose band above them ; there he thought of 
the water-mill at Kjoge, with its rushing, foaming water. 

Gladly would he have remained in the quiet Rhenish town, 
but Here too were too many elder-trees and willows, and there- 
fore he journeyed on, over the high, mighty mountains, through 
shattered walls of rock, and on roads that clung like swallows' 
nests to the mountain-side. The waters foamed on in the 
depths, the clouds were below him, and he strode on over this- 
tles, Alpine roses, and snow, in the warm summer sun ; and say- 
ins: farewell to the lands of the North, he passed on under tha 

O A 

shade of blooming chestnut-trees, and through vineyards and 
fields of maize. The mountains were a wall between him and 
all his recollections ; and he wished it to be so. 

Before him lay a great glorious city which they called Mi~ 
lano, and here he found a German master who e^ave him work. 
They were an old pious couple, in whose workshop he now 
labored. And the two old people became quite fond of the 
quiet journeyman, who said little, but worked all the more, 
and led a pious Christian life. To himself also it seemed as 
if Heaven had lifted the heavy burden from his heart. 

His favorite pastime was to mount now and then upon the 
mighty marble church, which seemed to him to have been 
formed of the snow of his native land, fashioned into roofs, 
and pinnacles, and decorated open halls : from every cornel 
and every point the white statues smiled upon him. Above 
him was the blue sky. below him ^he city and the wide-spread- 
ing Lombard plains, and toward the north, the high moun- 
tains clad with perpetual snow ; and he thought of the church 
at Kjoge, with its red ivy-covered walls, but he did not long 



UNDER THE WILLOW-TREE. 221 

to go thither : here, beyond the mountains, he would be 
buried. 

He had dwelt here a year, and three years had passed away 
since he left his home, when one day his master took him into 
the city, not to the circus where riders exhibited, but to the 
opera where was a hall worth seeing. There were seven sto- 
ries, from each of which beautiful silken curtains hung down, 
and from the ground to the dizzy height of the roof sat elegant 
ladies, with bouquets of flowers in their hands, as if they were 
at a ball, and the gentlemen were in full dress, and many of 
them decorated with gold and silver. It was as bright there a3 
in the brilliant sunshine, and the music rolled gloriously through 
the building. Everything was much more splendid than in 
the theatre at Copenhagen, but then Joanna had been there, 
and could it be ? Yes, it was like magic she was here 
also ! for the curtain rose and Joanna appeared, dressed in 
silk and gold, with a crown upon her head : she sang as he 
thought none but angels could sing, and came far forward, quite 
to the front of the stage, and smiled as only Joanna could 
smile, and looked straight down at Knud. Poor Knud seized 
his master's hand, and called out aloud, "Joanna! "but no 
one heard but the master, who nodded his head, for the loud 
music sounded above everything. 

" Yes, yes, her name is Joanna," said the master. 

And he drew forth a printed playbill, and showed Knud her 
name for the full name was printed there. 

No, it was not a dream ! All the people applauded and 
threw wreaths and flowers to her, and every time she went 
away they called her back, so that she was always going and 



coming. 



In the street the people crowded round her cairiage, and 
drew it away in triumph. Knud was in the foremost row, and 
shouted a? joyously as any ; and when the carriage stopped be- 
fore her brilliantly lighted house, Knud stood close beside the 
door of the carriage. It flew open, and she stepped out : the 
light fell upon her dear face, as she smiled, and made a kindly 
gesture of thanks, and appeared deeply moved. Knud looked 
straight into her face, and she looked into his, but she did not 
know him. A man with a star glittering on his breast gave 



222 STOKIES AND TALE*. 

her his arm and it was whispered about that the two 
engaged. 

Then Knud went home and packed his knapsack. He was 
determined to go back to his own home, to the elder and wiMow- 
trees ah, under the willow-tree ! A whole life is sometimes 
lived through in a single hour. 

The old couple begged him to remain, but no words could 
induce him to stay. It was in vain they told him that wirter 
?vas coming, and pointed out that snow had already fallen in the 
mountains ; he said he could march on, with his knapsack on 
his back, in the wake of the slow-moving carriage, for which 
they would have to clear a path. 

So he went away toward the mountains, and marched up 
them and down them. His strength was giving way, but still 
he saw no village, no house ; he marched on toward the north. 
The stars gleamed above him, his feet stumbled, and his head 
grew dizzy. Deep in the valley stars were shining too, and it 
seemed as if there were another sky below him. He felt he 
was ill. The stars below him became more and more numer- 
ous, and glowed brighter and brighter, and moved to and fro. 
Jt was a little town whose lights beamed there ; and when he 
understood that, he exerted the remains of his strength, and at 
last reached the shelter of an humble inn. 

That night and the whole of the following day he remained 
there, for his body required rest and refreshment. It was 
thawing, and there was rain in the valley. But early on the 
second morning came a man with an organ, who played a tune 
of home ; and now Knud could stay no longer. He continued 
his journey toward the north, marching onward for many days 
with haste and hurry, as if he were trying to get home before all 
were dead there ; but to no one did he speak of his longing, for 
no one would have believed in the sorrow of his heart, the deep- 
est a human heart can feel. Such a grief is not for the world, 
fo* it is not amusing ; nor is it even for friends ; and moreover 
he had no friends a stranger, he wandered through strange 
ands toward his home in the North. 

It was evening. He was walking on the public high road 
'The frost began to -make itself felt, and the country soon D 
came flatter, containing mere field and meadow. By the road 



UNDER THE WILLOW-TREE. 

aide grew a great willow-tree. Everything reminded him of 
home, and he sat down under the tree : he felt very tired, his 
head began to nod, and his eyes closed in slumber, but still 
he was conscious that the tree stretched its arm above him ; 
and in his wandering fancy the tree itself appeared to be an 
old, mighty man it seemed as if the " Willow Father " him- 
self had taken up his tired son in his arms, and were carrying 
him back into the land of home, to the bare bleak shore of 
Kjoge, to the garden of his childhood. Yes, he dreamed it 
was the willow-tree of Kjoge that had travelled out into the 
world to seek him, and that now had found him, and had led 
him back into the little garden by the streamlet, and there 
stood Joanna, in all her splendor, with the golden crown on 
her head, as he had seen her last, and she called out " Wel- 
come ! " to him. 

And before him stood two remarkable shapes, which looked 
much more human than he remembered them to have been in 
his childhood : they had changed also, but they were still the 
two cakes that turned the right side toward him, and looked 
/ery well. 

" We thank you," they said to Knud. "You have loosened 
our tongues, and have taught us that thoughts should be spoken 
out freely, or nothing will come of them ; and now something 
has indeed come of it we are betrothed." 

Then they went hand in hand through the streets of Kjoge, 
and they looked very respectable in every way : there was no 
fault to find with them. And they went on, straight toward 
the church, and Knud and Joanna followed them ; they also 
were walking hand in hand ; and the church stood there as it 
had always stood, with its red walls, on which the green ivy 
grew ; and the great door of the church flew open, and the or- 
gan sounded, and they walked up the long aisle of the church. 

" Our master first," said the cake couple, and made room for 
Joanna and Knud, who knelt by the altar, and she bent her 
head over him, and tears fell from her eyes, but they were icy 
cold, for it was the ice around her heart that was melting 
melting by his strong love ; and the tears fell upon his burning 
cheeks, and he awoke, and was sitting under the old willow- 
tree in the strange land, in the cold wintry evening : an icj 
bail was falling from the clouds and beating on his face. 



224 STORIES AND TALES. 

" That was the most delicious hour of my life ! : ' he said, 
" and it was but a dream. O, let me dream again ! " 

And he closed his eyes once more, and dreamed. 

Toward morning there was a great fall of snow. The 
villagers came forth to go to church, and by the road-side sat 
a journeyman. He was dead frozen to death under the 
ail low-tree! 



"THERE'S A DIFFERENCE. 

IT was in the month of May ; the wind was still cold, btal 
trees and bushes, fields and meadows, all proclaimed ;hat 
spring was come. Flowers sprang forth everywhere, even the 
hedges were full of them, alive with them, one might say : u 
seemed as though they were the language wherein Spring 
announced herself, every single bright blossom a gl idsome 
word of greeting. But the loveliest thing in the hedge was a 
little apple-tree, and in that tree there was one bough espe- 
cially fresh and blooming, completely weighed down by its 
wealth of delicate rosy buds, just ready to open. This bough 
was so lovely, it could not help knowing it, and therefore it 
was not one whit surprised when a grand carriage, passing 
along the road, stopped in front of it, and a young countess 
sitting in the carriage declared that of all the sweet, bright 
things of spring, that Apple-bough was the sweetest and 
brightest of all. And the Apple-bough was broken off, and 
the young countess held it in her own dainty hand, shading it 
from the sun with her silk parasol ; and then they drove on to 
her home, a stately castle, full of lofty walls and decorated 
saloons ; where gauzy white curtains fluttered at the open 
windows, and transparent vases stood full of beautiful flowers, 
and in one of these, which was carved as it were out of new- 
fallen snow, the Apple-bough was placed, among fresh, light- 
green beech leaves, and a pretty sight it was! 

And so it came to pass that the Apple-bough grew proud, 
quite like a human being. 

All sorts of people passed through the rooms, and expressed 
their admiration diversely ; some said too much, some said 
f oo little, some said nothing at all ; and the Apple-bough 
began to understand that there is a difference between human 
beings as between vegetables. " Some are for use, some are 
for ornament, and some could be dispensed with altogether " 



226 STORIES AND TALES. 

thought the Apple-bough. And as his position at the open 
window commanded a view over gardens and meadows below 
he could look down upon all sorts of flowers and plants, con- 
sider, and draw distinctions between them. They stood be- 
neath him all, some rich, some poor, some too poor. 

" Miserable, rejected herbs ! " quoth the Apple-bough. " It 
is right and just that a distinction should be made arid yet 
how unhappy they must feel, if indeed that sort of creature 
is capable of feeling, like me and my equals ; there is indeed 
a difference, but it must be made, else all would be treated as 
though they were alike." And the Apple-bough looked down 
with especial compassion upon one kind of flowers that grew 
in great multitudes upon the meadows and ditches ; no one 
gathered them for bouquets, they were too common, they 
could be found springing up even between the paving-stones, 
they shot up everywhere, the rankest, most worthless of 
weeds : they were dandelions, but the lower classes in Den- 
mark have given them the name of " Milk-pails." 

"Poor despised oul casts !' : went on the Apple-bough; 
" you cannot help being what you are, so common ! and with 
such a vulgar name ! But it is with vegetables as with men, 
there must be a difference." 

" A difference ? " repeated the Sunbeam, as it kissed the 
blossoming Apple-bough, and then flew on to kiss also the 
golden " Milk-pails " out in the fields. And the Sunbeam's 
sisters all did the same, kissing all the flowers equally, poor 
as well as rich. 

Now the Apple-bough had never thought about our Lord's 
infinite love for all that lives and moves in Him, had never 
thought how much that is good and beautiful can lie hidden, 
but not forgotten. The Apple-bough had lived with human 
beings, and grown like them in this. 

But the glorious Sunbeam knew better. " You are neither 
clear nor far-sighted ! What is this outcast herb that you are 
pitying so much ? " 

"The Milk-pails down there," replied the Apple-bough 
tf they are never tied up in bouquets, they are trodden undet 
foot, there are too many of them ; and when they run to seed 
'hey flj about in small bits of wool, and hang upon people's 



* THERF:S A DIFFERENCE:' 227 

clothes. Weeds ! weeds ! but they must be as they are. 1 
am really and truly grateful that I am not as one of them." 

And now a whole troop of children roamed over the 
meadow, the youngest of them so tiny that he had to be car 
ried by the others ; and as he was now set down in the grass 
among the golden blossoms, he laughed for joy, kicked about 
with his short legs, roiled over and over, and plucked none 
but the yellow dandelions, which he kissed in his innocent 
delight. The bigger children busied themselves in breaking 
the flowers of the dandelions off from their hollow stalks, and 
joining these stalks into chains, first one for a necklace, then 
a longer chain to hang across the shoulders and round the 
waist, and last, a third for a circlet round the head ; very soon 
they stood arrayed in splendid green chains. But the biggest 
of all the children carefully gathered the stalks bearing crowns 
of seed that loose, aerial, woolly blossom, that wonderfully 
perfect ball of dainty white plumes ; they held the white ball 
to their lips, trying to blow away all the white feathers with 
one puff of breath ; whoever could do that would get new 
clothes before the year was out so granny had told them. 
The poor despised herb was held as a prophet by this gener- 
ation. 

" Do you see now ? " asked the Sunbeam ; " don't you see 
its beauty, its power ? " 

" Yes, for children," replied the Apple-bough. 

Presently came into the meadow an old woman. She 
stooped down and began digging for the dandelion roots with 
\ blunt knife that had lost its handle. Some of the roots she 
vould roast instead of coffee-berries, others she would sell to 
ihe apothecary, who valued them as drugs. 

" But beauty is something higher," protested the Apple- 
bough. " Only the chosen few caii be admitted into the king 
dom of the beautiful ; there is a difference among plants as 



among men." 



Then the Sunbeam spoke of the infinite love of the Creator 
for ail His creatures, for all that has life, and His providence 
vatching equally over all. 

" Well, that is your opinion," replied the Apple-bough. 

S :>m? people novi came into the room, among them 



228 STORIES AND TALES. 

young countess who had placed the Apple-bough in the white 
vase by the window, and she carried in her hand something 
that was concealed by three or four large leaves held round 
it, lest a draught of air should injure it. Was it a flower? it 
was carried so carefully, more tenderly than the Apple- bough 
had been, when brought to the castle. Very gently the large 
leaves were removed, and behold the delicate globe of starry 
seeds borne by the despised dandelion plant ! This it was 
which she had plucked so cautiously, carried so tenderly, lest 
one only of the dainty feathered arrows that help to round its 
globe-like form and sit so lightly, should be blown away. But 
it was quite perfect, not one seed was lost, and she admired 
so much the beautiful form, the airy lightness, the wondrous 
mechanism of a thing destined to be so soon scattered by the 
wind. 

" Only see how wonderfully beautiful our Lord has made 
it ! " she said. " I will put it in a picture together with the 
Apple-bough : that is very lovely too ; but this poor little weed 
is equally lovely, only in another way. Very different are 
they, and yet both are children in the kingdom of the beau- 
tiful." 

And the Sunbeam kissed the poor weed, and then kissed 
the blossoming Apple-bough, whose delicate petals seemed 
*o biush into a brighter red. 



A LEAF FROM THE SKY. 

HIGH up y&nder, in the thin, clear air, flew an acge< 
with a flower from the heavenly garden. As he was 
kissing the flower, a very little leaf fell down into the soft sol 
in the midst of the wood, and immediately took root, and 
sprouted, and sent forth shoots among the other plants. 

" A funny kind of slip that," said the Plants. 

And neither Thistle nor Stinging-Nettle would recognize the 
stranger. 

" That must be a kind of garden plant," said they. 

And they sneered ; and the plant was despised by them as 
being a thing of the garden. 

" Where are you coming ? " cried the lofty Thistles, whose 
leaves are all armed with thorns. " You give yourself a good 
deal of space. That's all nonsense we are not here to sup- 
port you ! " they grumbled. 

And winter came, and snow covered the plant ; but the 
plant imparted to the snowy covering a lustre as if the sun was 
shining upon it from below as from above. When spring came, 
the plant appeared as a blooming object, more beautiful than 
any production of the forest. 

And now appeared on the scene the botanical professor, who 
could show what he was in black and white. He inspected 
the plant and tested it, but found it was not included in his 
botanical system ; and he could not possibly find out to what 
class it belonged. 

" That must be some subordinate species," he said. " 1 
don't know it. It 's not included in any system." 

" Not included in any system i " repeated the Thistles and 
the Nettles. 

The great trees that stood round about saw and heard it ; 
but they said not a word, good or bad, which is the wises! 
Uiing to do for people who are stupid. 



230 STORIES AXD TALES. 

There came through the forest a poor innocent girl. Hei 
heart was pure, and her understanding was enlarged by faith. 
Her whole inheritance was an old Bible ; but out of its pa^es 
a voice said to her, " If people wish to do us evil, remember 
how it was said of Joseph. They imagined evil in their hearts, 
but God turned it to good. If we surfer wrong if we are 
misunderstood and despised then we may recall the woras 
}f Him who was purity and goodness itself, and who forgave 
and prayed for those who buffeted and nailed Him to the 



cross." 



The girl stood still in front of the wonderful plant, whose 
great leaves exhaled a sweet and refreshing fragrance, and 
whose flowers glittered like colored flame in the sun ; and from 
each flower there came a sound as though it concealed within 
itself a deep fount of melody that thousands of years could 
not exhaust. With pious gratitude the girl looked on this 
beautiful work of the Creator, and bent down one of the 
branches toward herself to breathe in its sweetness ; and a 
light arose in her soul. It seemed to do her heart good ; 
and gladly would she have plucked a flower, but she could 
not make up her mind to break one off, for it would soon 
fade if she did so. Therefore the girl only took a single leaf, 
and laid it in her Bible at home ; and it lay there quite fresh, 
always green, and never fading. 

Among the pages of the Bible it was kept ; and, with the 
Bible, it was laid under the young girl's head when, a few 
weeks afterward, she lay in her coffin, with the solemn cairn 
of death on her gentle face, as if the earthly remains bore the 
impress of the truth that she now stood before her Creator. 

But the wonderful plant still bloomed without in the forest. 
It was almost like a tree to look upon ; and all the birds of 
passage bowed before it. 

11 That's giving itself foreign airs now," said the Thistle* 
and the Burdocks ; " we never behave like that here.' 

Arid the black snails actually spat at the flower. 

Then came the swineherd. He was collecting thistles and 
snrubs, to burn them for the ashes. The wonderful plant wai 
placed bodily in his bundle. 

" It shall be made useful," he said ; and so said, so done. 



A LEAF FROM FHE SKY. 23! 

But soon afterward, the King of the country was troubled 
with a terrible depression of spirits. He was busy and indus- 
trious, but that did him no good. They read him deep and 
learned books, and then they read from the lightest and most 
superficial that they could find ; but it was of no use. Then 
one of the wise men of the world, to whom they .had applied, 
sent a messenger to tell the King that there was one remedy 
to give him relief and to cure him. He said : 

" In the King's own country there grows in a forest a plant, 
of heavenly origin. Its appearance is thus and thus. It can- 
not be mistaken." 

" I fancy it was taken up in my bundle, and burned to ashes 
long ago," said the Swineherd ; " but I did not know any bet- 
ter." 

" You did not know any better ! Ignorance of Ignorances ! " 

And those words the Swineherd might well take to himself, 
for they were meant for him, and for no one else. 

Not another leaf was to be found ; the only one lay in the 
coffin of the dead girl, and no one knew anything about that 

And the King himself, in his melancholy, wandered out to 
the spot in the wood. 

" Here is where the plant stood," he said ; " it is a sacred 
place." 

And the place was surrounded with a golden railing, and a 
sentry was posted there. 

The botanical professor wrote a long treatise upon the 
heavenly plant. For this he was gilded all over, and this gild- 
ng suited him and his family very well. And indeed that was 
he most agreeable part of the whole story. But the King 
remained as low-spirited as before; but that he had always 
been, at least so the sentry said. 



CHILDREN'S PRATTLE. 

THERE was a large children's party at the merchant'j 
house ; rich folks' children and great folks' children 
were there. The merchant, their host, was a man of sense 
and educatio.i ; his father, who had been originally a horse- 
jockey, but honest and thrifty always, had made a great point 
of his son's having plenty of book-learning. And book-learn- 
ing the son had, and a kind heart besides, but of all this there 
was less talk than of his money. His house was always full 
of company ; some who had " birth," as it is called, and some 
who had " mind ; " some who had both, and some who had 
neither. But to-day it was a child's party, and among the 
young visitors was a pretty little girl, most ridiculously proud 
of her father being a groom of the chamber. The servants 
had taught her this pride, not her parents ; they were far too 
sensible. 

" I am a child of the chamber," she said. And then she 
informed the other children that she had " birth," and affirmed 
that people who had not " birth " from the first could not by 
any means attain it ; it was no good reading and being ever 
so diligent, if you had not "birth." And as for people whose 
names end with " sen," she declared, " nothing can ever be 
made of them ! One must put out one's arms on each side 
and kee-p them at a distance so ! ' And with this she 
arched her delicate little arms with the elbows turned out to 
show what she meant, and the little arms were so pretty 
She was a sweet little girl. 

But the merchant's little daughter was very angry, for hei 
father's name was Madsen, and she knew that that name 
ended with " sen ; " so she refined, as proudly as the other, 
" My father can buy a hundred rix-dollars' worth of sugar- 
plums and throw them away; can your father afford to do 
that ? " 



CHILDREN'S PRATTLE. 233 

" Ah, but my father," struck in the little daughter of an 
author, " can put your father and her father and everybody's 
father into the newspaper ! think of that ! Everybody is 
afraid of him because he directs the newspapers." And the 
litile girl drew herself up as haughtily as if she were a reil 
princess. 

Meanwhile, close outside the open door, stood, peeping in 
through the chink, a poor boy. Such a fellow as he might 
not come into the room ; he had been turning the spit for the 
cook, and now had got leave to take a peep through the door 
at the beautifully dressed children who held this conversation. 
1 don't think it could have been much of a pleasure for him. 

" I wish I were one of them S '' he thought, and when he 
heard what they said, it made him feel quite low-spirited. 
Not a penny in the world had his parents ; little idea had 
they of reading a newspaper, far less of writing one ; and 
then, worst of all, his father's name, and consequently his 
own, ended with " sen." " Nothing in the world could be 
made of him," he was told. That was sad indeed ! and then 
this " birth " they talked of, what could it mean ? had he not 
been " born," like everybody else ? 

* 

Many years passed away ; the children were now grown-up 
lien and women. 

There now stood in the city a handsome house, full of splen- 
;ii furniture and beautiful works of art ; all people were glad 
y see it, and would even come from a distance for the pur- 
pose. And which of these children was the owner of this 
house? It is not so easy to guess. Why, the house belonged 
to the poor boy ; he had become somebody, spite of the " sen " 
at the end of his name for that name was Thorwalds^n. 

And the three little girls the children of the three aristoc- 
racies of birth, of money, and of intellect ? Well, something 
good and pleasant was made out of ail three, for all three 
were good at heart ; their silly talk '-hat evening at the partj 
was only Children's Prattle. 



THE SWANS' NEST. 

T)ETWEEN the Baltic and the North Sea lies an old 
JL) Swans' Nest, it is called Denmark ; in it have been 
born, and will be born hereafter, Swans whose names shall 
never die. 

In the olden time, a flock of Swans flew thence over th< 
Alps to Milan's lovely green plains. There they lighted dowi 
and dwelt, for right pleasant was it there to dwell. These 
Swans were called Lombards. 

Another flock, with bright shining plumage, and clear, 
truthful eyes, lighted down at Byzantium, nestled round the 
Emperor's throne, and spread out their broad white wings as 
shields to protect him. These were known as Varangians. 

From the coasts of France arose a cry of anguish and 
terror terror at the bloody Swans who, with fire under their 
wings, flew thither from the North. Loud was the prayer of 
village and town, " God save us from the wild Normans ! ' 

On England's fresh meadow-turf, near the shore, wearing a 
triple crown on his kingly head, his golden sceptre stretching 
far over the land, stood the royal Swan, Canute the Dane. 

And on Pomerania's shores the heathens bowed the knee 
for thither, too, with drawn swonds, and bearing the standard 
of the cross, had flown the Danish Swans. 

" But this was in the days of old." 

In times nearer our own, then, have mighty Swans been 
seen to fly out from the Nest. A flash of lightning cleft the 
air lightning that shone over all Europe for a Swan had 
flapped his strong wings and scattered the twilight mist, and 
the starry heavens became more visible were brought, as ii 
were, nearer the earth. The Swan's name was Tycho Brahe. 

"Yes, just that once," it will be said; "but now, in oui 
own generation ? ' 

Well, in our own generation we have beheld Swans soaring 
ia a high and glorious flight. 



THE SWANS' NEST. 235 

One we saw gently sweep his wings over the golden chords 
of the harp, whereupon sweet music thrilled through the 
northern lands, the wild Norwegian mountains lifted their 
proud crests higher in the full sunlight of the olden time, 
pine and birch bowed their heads and rustled their leaves, the 
"Gods of the North" the heroes and noble women of 
Scandinavian history lived and breathed again, their tall, 
stately figures standing out from the dark background of deep 
forests. 

A second Swan we saw strike his pinions upon the hard 
marble rock till it cleft asunder, and new forms of beauty, 
hitherto shut up in the stone, were revealed to the light of 
day, and the nations of Europe gazed in wonder and admira- 
tion at the glorious statuary. 

A third Swan we have seen weaving threads of thoughts 
that spun and spread around the earth, so that words can fly 
with lightning speed from land to land. 

Dear to the protecting heavens above is the old Swans' 
Nest between the Baltic and the North Sea. Let mighty 
birds of prey, if they will, speed thither to tear it down. It 
shall not be ! Even the unfledged, unplumed young ones will 
press forward to the margin of the Nest we have seen it 
will fight desperately with beak and claw, will offer their 
bleeding breasts in defense of their home. 

Centuries will pass away, and Swans will still fly forth 
from the Nest, and make themselves seen and heard far over 
the world ; long will it be before the time shall come when in 
sad truth it maybe said, "Behold the last Swan ! Listen to 
the last sweet song from the Swans' Nest 1 " 



PSYCHE. 

AT day-dawn, when the clouds to the east are red, shinef 
in the west a large star, the morning-star; her beamn 
quiver upon my white wall, as though she would fain write 
there the story of all she has witnessed during the thousands 
of years that she has watched our earth. 

Listen now to one of her stories. 

Only lately, for a few centuries ago, though a long time 
to you men, is but lately to me thus she begins, only 
lately my beams followed a young artist, who lived at Rome. 
Many things there have changed since that time, but not so 
much as you may fancy. The imperial city was then, as to 
this day, a city of ruins ; fig-tree and laurel grew among the 
overturned marble columns and choked up the deserted bath- 
chambers, with their walls still inlaid with gold and mosaic ; 
the Coliseum was a ruin ; the church-bells rang, incense filled 
the air, processions with lighted candles and canopies passed 
through the streets. The world's greatest painter, Raphael, 
then lived at Rome, so did the great sculptor Michael Angelo : 
the Pope himself admired these two, and honored them with 
visits Art was honored and merit rewarded, but not every- 
thing good and noble was known and seen then, any more 
than now. 

In a narrow little street stood an old house that had once 
been a temple ; there dwelt a young artist, poor and obscure, 
To be sure, he had plenty of friends, artists also, who were 
always telling him he was rich in talent and industry, and that 
he was a fool in having no more trust in himself. Whatever 
his hand formed in clay he was sure to break in pieces ; he was 
never satisfied with anything he did, never finished anything, 
never could earn any money. " You are a dreamer ! ' they 
toid him. " It is all your own fault, it is because you will not 
do as we do, and enjoy life, as youth should. Look at Ra 



PSYCHE 237 

phael, the great master, whom all the world admires, d;>es he 
live a life like yours ? " 

They wanted him to plunge with them into riotous pleasures. 
But these he turned away from. The " life that Raphael 
lived," that they were so fond of quoting, seemed to him poor 
and earthly indeed, when he stood before the great master's 
pictures, and felt the power of God's holy and heavenly gift ; 
and when he wandered in the Vatican among the noble and 
beautiful figures that had, so long, long ago, been shaped out 
of marble, then his breast heaved with delight and longing ; 
he felt within himself some power astir, alike elevating, great, 
and good, and he yearned to create forms such as these. He 
went home, and set to work, the soft clay was easily moulded 
by his fingers, but the next day he was sure to break his work 
to pieces. 

One day he chanced to pass by one of those rich palaces 
wherewith Rome abounds ; he paused at the open portals, and 
saw galleries, adorned with statues, inclosing a little garden, 
full of the loveliest roses. In the centre of the rose-garden 
splashed a fountain, confined in a marble basin, where grew 
water-plants with large white blossoms and sappy green leaves. 
Just then a young girl, a daughter of that princely house, 
glided through the garden, past the fountain ; so beautiful she 
was ! so lightly, delicately formed ! Surely he had seen her 
face before ; yes, she had been painted as " Psyche," painted 
by Raphael ; yes, in one of the palaces he had seen her por- 
trait, but now he saw herself. 

He bore her image away with him in his heart ; he retuined 
home, to his poverty-stricken chamber, and there moulded a 
Psyche in clay ; it was the rich, nobly born young daughter of 
Rome ; and for the first time he was satisfied with his work. 
It had expression and meaning ; his ideal was no longer vague 
and shadowy. And his friends, when they saw his work, were 
delighted. 

Clay is all very well, but it lacks the whiteness and dura- 
bility of marble ; out of the precious block must Psyche receive 
her life. Nor wouid this be too costly for the young artist, 
for a large block had lain in the yard for many years ; broker, 
glasses, cabbage-stalks, and remnants of artichoke had been 



238 STORIES AND TALES. 

flung over it time out of mind, and soiled its purity, but within 
ft was white as the mountain-snow. From out this block must 
Psyche lift her wings. 

One day it happened I must own, the morning-star did 
not tell me this, for she never saw it. but never mind, I know 
it one day a party of high-born Roman nobies visited the 
young sculptor's humble home. The carriage waited a little 
apart ; the visitors came to inspect the young artist's work, 
having accidentally heard of it. And who might these dis- 
tinguished strangers be ? Poor young man ! or too happ}' 
young man. shall we say? The young maiden herself now 
stood in his room, and how she smiled when her father 
said, " That is you to the life ! " Ah, the smile, the look she 
then gave the young artist ! it cannot be described ; it was a 
look that elevated, ennobled, and alas ! crushed him. 

" Psyche must be executed in marble," said her father. 
" When the work is completed I shall buy it," he added. 

A new era now began in that poor little workshop. Life 
and Mirth shone into it, Industry bore them company. The 
beaming morning-star watched the progress of the work ; the 
clay had become as it were animated, since she had been there 
and had bent in beauty over her own image, with its well- 
known features. " Now I know what life is," exclaimed the 
artist ; " it is love ! it is being lifted above one's self, the rapture 
of losing one's self in the sense of beauty ! What my friends 
call life and enjoyment is fleeting and unreal as a bubble ; they 
know nothing of the pure heavenly wine that initiates us into 
life." 

The block was brought out, the chisel hewed away huge 
pieces, measurements were taken, and the work proceeded 
till gradually the stone became transformed into a human fig- 
ure, beautiful and perfect as God's image in the young girl. 
Thai heavy stone was changed into a form, light, dancing, 
aerial, a charming Psyche, wearing the smile of celestial inno- 
cence that had enshrined her in the young sculptor's heart.. 

The morning-star watched him and understood all that wag 
stirring in the young man's mind, comprehended the changing 
color of his cheeks, the kindling in his eyes, whilst he strove 
to bring out the gift God had bestowed upon him. 



PSYCffb. 



239 



" You are like one of the old Greeks ! " declared his friends. 
" Soon will all the world be admiring your Psyche. 1 

" My Psyche ! " he repeated to himself. " Mine ! yes. mine 
slie must be ! Therefore am I an artist like the mighty ones 
that are dead ; God has vouchsafed me this gift, in order to 
raise me to the level of the high-born." And he sank upon 
his knees, shedding tears of grateful joy, and then again forgot 
all other thoughts for her, and for her image in marble for 
his Psyche that stood there as though carved out of snow, 
blushing in the morning sun. 

And now he must actually see herself, the living, moving 
Psyche, whose words fell sweet as music ; he was to bring her 
the news that the marble Psyche was completed. He passed 
through the open court-yard where the fountains splash through 
the dolphin-forms into the marble basin, where white water- 
lilies and fresh roses blossom. He entered a lofty antecham- 
ber, its walls and ceiling splendid with pictures and coats 
of arms. Here a troop of retainers, as proud of their fine 
clothes as sledge-horses of their bells, passed backward and 
forward ; some had even extended their lazy limbs on the 
carved wooden benches, as much at their ease as though they 
were the masters of the house. The sculptor told his errand, 
and was forthwith led up the carpeted marble staircase. 
Statues stood on either side ; he passed through splendid 
apartments paved with mosaic ; the show and glitter around 
him almost took his breath away. But his courage returned 
at finding himself kindly, almost cordially received by the 
stately, courteous old prince, who, after a brief colloquy, bade 
him pay a visit to the young signorina, his daughter, as she 
wished to see him. So again he was conducted by the sei 
vants through halls and corridors, till he was ushered into the 
chamber whereof she herself was the chief ornament. 

She spoke to him ; no solemn church music could ever 
have greater power to melt the heart, to raise the soul. He 
took her hand, and pressed it to his lips ; no rose-leaf could 
be softer, but a strong, magical spell seemed to overpower him 
at that light touch. Words flowed from his lips he never 
thought to speak, he knew not himself what he spoke ; is the 
volcano conscious wn^n it throws up burning lava? He told 



24O STORIES AND TALbS. 

her his love. Astounded, offended, haughty stood she before 
him ; then an expression of disgust, as though she had una- 
wares touched a wet, clammy reptile, passed into her features . 
her cheeks flushed, her lips grew pale, her eyes flashed fire, 
and yet were dark as night. 

" Madman ! " she exclaimed. " Away ! out of ray sight i " 
and she turned her back to him ; her lovely face at that mo- 
ment had the look of that fabulous beauty that turned the be 
holder into stone. 

Like one walking in his sleep, he made his way down-stairs, 
out into the streets, and reached his home. Then came upon 
him a fit of wild rage and pain ; he seized his hammer, ard 
raised it high, on the point of breaking in pieces his beautiful 
marble image ; but his friend Angelo, whose presence he in 
his passion had not perceived, sprang forward, and caught him 
by the arm, crying, " Are you gone crazy ? what is the mat- 
ter ? ' : They wrestled, but Angelo was the stronger ; draw- 
ing a deep breath, the young sculptor threw himself upon a 
chair. 

" What can have happened ? ' inquired Angelo. " Com- 
mand yourself; tell me all about it ! " But he would not ex- 
plain how could he ? So Angelo, putting his own construc- 
tion upon the matter, lectured him after his usual fashion. He 
was a dreamer, and would go mad if he did not give up his 
solitude and his fancies ; why not enjoy life, like his friends? 
why be like a child, so afraid of doing wrong ? etc. And the 
young sculptor, who had entirely lost his self-command, lis- 
tened to his friend, and was persuaded to spend an evening in 
the wild rioting that Angelo called pleasure. 

Not till night came, and he reached home and flung him- 
self down upon his bed did he recollect himself. Then his 
conscience spoke in clear tones of reproof and warning ; ho 
sighed heavily. Back came the memory of his living Psyche's 
.ooks and tones when she said, "Away ! out of my sight ! " 
After all, was she not right, was he not unworthy to approach 
her ? Weariness came over him, he buried his head in the 
pillows, and slept. 

At daylight he started up, trying to collect his thoughts 
Had the whole been a d.^eam her repulse, Angelo's persu* 



PSYCHE. 241 

lions, his visit to the tavern ? No, all were realities, facts 
nitherto unknown to him, now revealed. The clear morning- 
star shone through the gray dawn upon the marble Psyche. 
He felt unworthy to contemplate the symbol of immortality ; 
he got up and drew a curtain over the figure, his own work, 
which now he could not endure to look upon. 

Silent, gloomy, absorbed in reverie, he spent the livelong 
day ; he never inquired what might be stirring without, and 
no one knew what passed within that lonely human heart. 

Days and weeks passed away ; the nigms were terribly long. 
The twinkling morning-star at last watched him rise from his 
bed, pale, and shaking from fever, go up to his marble statue, 
remove the covering that veiled it from sight, gaze upon his 
work with one last, sad, yearning look, and then, almost trem- 
bling under its weight, drag the statue down into the garden. 
Here he sought a ruined, dried-up well, or rather hole, and 
into it he sank his Psyche, flung the mould over it, then heaped 
up a quantity of dry sticks and nettles about the spot, that no 
one might observe that the earth had been newly stirred. 
" Away ! out of my sight ! " these words sufficed for the brief 
burial-service. The morning-star looked down through the 
fresh, cool air, and her beams quivered upon two tears that 
trembled on the young man's pale cheeks. 

He went back to his bed, staggering and faint. He lay 
there for days and weeks, fever-stricken, sick almost unto 
death. 

During his illness he had a constant visitor from a neigh 
boring convent ; Brother Ignatius came to see him day after 
day as physician, nurse, and friend. He brought the conso- 
lations of religion, spoke of man's sin and Heaven's forgive- 
ness ; and his words fell like warm summer rain on a thirsty 
ground. When the young sculptor rose up from his bed o f 
s^cknesj, he had resolved to begin a new life ; his art exposed 
him to vanity, the world was full of temptation, he would re- 
nounce both, and seek shelter and safety in a monastery. 
Biother Ignatius supported him in this resolution, and he be 
came a monk. 

Very kindly, very cordially, was he received by the com- 
munity ; the day of his taking the vows was kept as a high 

16 



ANU 

festival. And when, in the evening hour, at sunset, he stood 
in his little cell, opened his window, and looked out over old 
Rome, its ruined temples, its wonderful, but dead Coliseum, 
saw the acacias with their spring blossoms, the evergreens' 
fresh shoots, the roses in their luxuriant beauty, the nodding 
citron and orange-trees, and fan-like palms, he felt thrilled 
with a calm happiness he had never known before. And the 
wide Campagna, so still and peaceful, extending as far as the 
solemn, snow-covered mountains, that looked as though painted 
upon the sky the whole landscape in its quiet beauty seemed 
a floating dream. 

But *.he cloister-life is a life of years, long, and monotonous; 
and the silence and quiet that seemed like Heaven at first 
became wearisome ; and temptation, he found, came from 
within, rather than from without him. He longed to practice 
igain the art that had been so dear to him ; he held this long- 
ing a sin, and punished his body for it, but that availed him 
riDt. The morning-star still watched him in his cell, knew 
his struggles, his sufferings ; the star that shall assuredly some 
day pale, and become quenched, whilst the souls that it now 
watches live and shine immortally, that star saw his mortal 
life fade away, watched his weary eyes grow dim in death. 

He was buried in earth that had been brought from Jerusa- 
lem, mingled with the dust of the pious dead. Some years 
later, the bones were taken out, a rosary was placed in the 
fleshless hands, and the skeleton was set up in a niche, among 
other like ghastly forms, as is the wont in convent grave-yards, 
to make room for the new-comers. And the sun shone down 
on the grisly spectacle. 

Three centuries had passed away. The bright star of the 
morning shone still, undiminished in size or lustre ; the clouds 
of dawn were brilliant as ever, fresh as roses, red as blood. 

A stately convent now occupied the ground once covered 
by the little narrow street with its ruined temple. It chanced 
that a young novice, one of the inmates of this convent, was 
dead, and her grave was dug in the garden at early dawn. 
The spade struck against a stone, it seemed ; something of 
dazzling whiteness gleamed forth it was white marble 
Bounded into the form of a shoulder ; the spade was guided 



PSYCHE 



243 



with greater care ; a woman's head was uncovered, then but- 
terfly-wings. Out of the earth stirred to make roc in for the 
corpse of the young nun was lifted forth into the rosy morn- 
ing light a lovely Psyche form, chiseled out of white marble. 
" How beautiful it is ! how perfect ! a work of some great mas- 
ter ! ' folk said. But whose work could it be ? No one could 
tell, no one knew anything about the matter save the clear, 
bright star that had glistened for so many ages ; she had wit- 
nessed his earthly life, his sufferings, his weakness. 

The sculptor's body had long since returned to its native 
dust, but the work in which God's gracious gift to him had 
found its expression the work on which he had lavished the 
treasures of his heart and soul that work remained, lived 
still, to be known, admired, and loved by a generation who had 
never heard his name. 

And the bright morning-star, from her throne in the sky 
sent clown her twinkling rays upon Psyche, upon the innocent 
smile that parted her lips, and in the kindling eyes of the ad- 
miring crowd, who gathered round to gaze on that glorious 
tyrutal of the immortal souL 



THE OLD GRAVE-STONE. 

IN one of our small trading towns, at that time cf yeai 
when folk say "The evenings grow long," a whole familf 
was assembled together. The air was still mild and warm , 
the lamp was lighted, the long curtains hung down before the 
windows, and bright moonlight prevailed without. The) 
were talking about a big old stone that lay down in the yard, 
close by the kitchen door, where the servants often placed the 
kitchen utensils, after they had been cleaned, to dry in the 
sun, and where the children were fond of playing ; it was, in 
fact, an old grave-stone. 

u Yes," said the master of the house, " I believe it comes 
from the old ruined convent-chapel ; pulpit and grave-stones, 
with all their epitaphs, were sold ; my late father bought sev- 
eral of these : the others were broken into paving-stones, but 
mis one was left unused, lying in the yard." 

" It is easy to know it for a grave-stone," said the eldest of 
the children. " You can still see on it an hour-glass and a 
piece of an angel, but the inscription is almost quite worn out, 
except the name * Preben,' and a capital ' S ' a little farther 
on, and underneath it ' Martha,' but it is impossible to make 
out any more, and that you can only read after it has been 
raining, or when we have washed it." 

" Why, then, it must be the grave-stone of Preben Swan and 
his wife ! " exclaimed an old man, who by his age might 
appear the grandfather of everybody in the room. " To b 
sure, they were among the last that were buried in the old 
convent church-yard the grand old couple ! Everybody 
knew them, everybody loved them ; they were like king and 
queen in the town. Folk said they had more than a barrelful 
of gold, and yet they went about simply clad, in the coarsest 
cloth, only their linen was always of dazzling whiteness. Yes, 
that was a charming old pair, Preben and Martha. One wai 



THE OLD GRAVE-STONE. 



245 



always so glad to see them, sitting together on the bench at 
the top of their stone staircase, under the old lime-tree's shade. 
They were so good to the poor ! they feasted them, clothed 
them, and there was good sense and a true Christian spirit in 
all their benevolence. The wife died first; I remember the 
day quite well ; I was then a little boy, and went with my 
father to see old Preben : the old man was so grieved, he 
cried like a child. The corpse still lay in her bedroom, close 
to the chamber where we sat ; she looked as if she had just 
fallen asleep. And the old man told my father how he should 
now be so lonely, how many years they had spent together, 
and how they had first made acquaintance and came to love 
each other. As I said before, I was a child, but it moved me 
strangely to listen to the old man, and watch how he grew 
more animated as he went on speaking, a faint color coming 
into his cheeks as he talked of their youthful days, how pretty 
she had been, how many little innocent tricks he had played, 
in order to meet her. And when he spoke of his wedding- 
day his eyes quite sparkled ; he seemed to be living his happy 
time over again and all the while she was lying dead in the 
next chamber, an old lady, and he was an old man ah, how 
time passes ! I was a child then, and now I am as old as 
Preben Swan. Yes, time and change come to all. I remem- 
ber as well as possible the funeral-day, and Preben Swan 
following the coffin. They had had their grave-stone carved 
w'lh names and inscriptions, all except the dates of their 
death, some years before ; that same evening the stone was 
taken to the grave, and put into its place. The next year 
the grave had to be reopened, and old Preben rejoined his 
wife. They did not turn out to be so rich as people had 
fancied, and what they did leave went to distant relations very 
far off. The old wooden house, with the bench at the top of 
the high stone staircase under the lime-tree, was ordered to 
be pulled down, for it was too ruinous to stand any longer. 
And afterward, when the convent-chapel and cemetery were 
destroyed, the grave-stone of Preben and Martha was sold, 
like others, to whomsoever chose to buy it. And so now it 
lies in the yard for the little ones to roll over, and to make a 
shelf for the kitchen pots and pans. And the caved street 



246 STORIES AND TALES. 

now covers the resting-place of old Preben and his wife, and 
nobody thinks of them any more." 

And the old man who related all this shook his held sadly 
w Forgotten ! All things are forgotten ! " 

And the rest began to speak of other matters ; but the 
youngest boy, a child with large, grave eyes, crept up on a 
chair behind the curtains, and looked out into the yard, where 
the moon shone brightly on the big stone that before had 
seemed to him flat and uninteresting enough, but now had 
become to him like a page of a large-sized story-book. For 
all that the boy had heard concerning Preben and his wife, 
the stone seemed to contain within it ; and he looked first at 
the stone, and then at the brilliant moon, which looked to 
him like a bright kind face looking down through the pure 
still air upon the earth. 

" Forgotten ! all shall be forgotten ! " these words came to 
his ears from the room ; but at that very moment an invisible 
angel kissed the boy's forehead and softly whispered, " Keep 
the seed carefully, keep it till the time for ripening. Through 
thee, child as thou art, shall the half-erased inscription, the 
crumbling grave-stone, stand out in clear, legible characters 
for generations to come ! Through thee shall the old couple 
again walk arm-in-arm through the ancient gateways, and sit 
with smiling faces on the bench under the lime-tree, greeting 
rich and poor. The good and the beautiful perish never \ 
they live eternally in tale and song/ 1 



THE COMET. 

NOW the comet came with its shining nucleus and itfl 
nebulous tail. At the great castle they gazed at it, and 
from the poor shanty ; the crowd in the street stared at it. and 
the solitary man, that went his way over the pathless heath. 
Eveiy one had his own thoughts. " Come and look at the 
vault of heaven ; come out and look at the wonderful sight," 
they cried, and all hastened to look. But inside the room 
there sat yet a little boy and his mother. The tallow candle 
was burning, and the mother thought that there was a moth 
in the light ; the tallow formed in ragged edges around the 
candle, and ran down the sides ; this, she believed, betokened 
that her son should die very soon, the shining little moth 
was turning toward him. 

This was an old superstition in which she believed. The 
little boy was destined to live many years here on earth, and, 
indeed, lived to see the comet again, when it returned sixtv 
years after. 

The boy did not see the candle-moth in the light, and 
thought not of the comet, which then, for the first time in his 
life, looked brightly down from the skies. He sat quietly 
with an earthen dish before him ; the dish being filled with 
soap-watei , in which he dipped the head of a clay pipe, and 
then put the stem in his mouth, and made soap-bubbles, big 
and small. They quivered and fluttered in their beautiful 
colors ; they changed from yellow to red, from red to purple 
and blue ; then they colored green, like the leaves when the 
sun is shining thiough them. " May God give thee many 
years to live here on earth, as many as the bubbles thou art 
blowing." 

" So many, so many ! " cried the little fellow. " I can 
never blow all the soap-water into bubbles. There flies one 
Fear, there flies another !" exclaimed he, when a new bubble 



248 STORIES AND TALES. 

broke loose from the pipe and flew off. Some of them flew 
mtc his eyes : they burned and smarted, and caused tears tc 
flow. In every bubble he saw a picture of the future, glim- 
mering and glittering. 

"This is the time to see the comet ! "' exclaimed the neigh 
bors ; " come out of doors, and don't sit in the room." 

And the mother took the boy by the hand ; he had to lay 
the clay pipe aside, and leave his play with the soap-bubbles , 
the comet was there. 

And the boy saw the brilliant fire-ball, and the shining tail. 
Some said it was three yards long, others insisted it was sev- 
eral millions of yards long, only a slight difference. 

Most of the people who had said that, were dead and gor e 
when the comet came again ; but the little fellow, toward 
whom the candle-moth had been turned, of whom the mother 
thought, " He will die soon," he still lived, had become ol<{ 
and white-haired. " White hairs are the flower of old age," 
says the proverb ; and he had a good many of such flowers. 
He was now an old school-master. The school-children said 
that he was very wise, and knew so very much ; he knew 
history, and geography, and all that was known about heaven 
and its stars. 

" Everything comes again," said he ; " only pay attention 
to persons and events, and you will learn that they always 
return ; there may be a hundred years between, or many hun- 
dred years, but then we shall have the same persons again, 
only in another coat, and in another country." And the 
school-master told them about William Tell, who was com- 
pelled to shoot an apple from his son's head ; but before he 
shot the arrow, he hid another one in his bosom, to shoot into 
the breast of the wicked Gesler. This took place in Switzei- 
land. But many years before that happened, the same event 
occurred in Denmark with Walraloke ; he was also obliged 
to shoot an apple from his son's head, and he also hid an 
arrow in his bosom, to avenge the cruelty. And several thou- 
sand years before that, the same story was written down in 
Egypt. This is a story, and a true one ; it came again, and 
will come again, like the comet, that returns, "flies awaj 
through space, stays away, but returns." And he spoke of 




" THE COMET." See page 247. 



THE COMET. 



249 



the comet that was expected, the same comet that he had 
seen when yet a boy. 

The school-master knew what took place in the skies, bjt 
he did not therefore forget history and geograpny. r?is 
garden was laid out in the shape of a map of Denmark. 
Here were herbs and flowers, which belong to different j'aris 
of the land. 

"Fetch me herbs," said he, and they went to the bed that 
represented Laaland ; " fetch me buckwheat," and they went 
to Langeland. The beautiful blue gentian was found in Ska- 
gen. The shining Christ-thorn, at Silkeborg. Towns and 
cities were marked with images. Here stood St. Knud, with 
the dragon, which meant Odense ; Absalon, with the Bishop s 
staff, meant Soro. The old boat with the oars was a sign 
that there stood Aarhuus. From the school-master's garden 
you could learn the geography of Denmark ; but one had to 
be instructed by him first, and that was a great pleasure. 

Now the comet was expected again, and of that he spoke ; 
and he related what people had said in the olden times, when 
it appeared last ; they had said that a comet year was a good 
wine year, and that one could mix water with that wine, with 
out its being detected. Therefore the merchants thought sc 
much of a comet year. 

The sky was overcast for two weeks, they could not see 
the comet, and yet it was there. The old school-master sat in 
his little chamber adjoining the school-room. The old Born- 
holm clock of his grandfather's time stood in the corner ; the 
heavy lead weights did neither ascend nor descend, the pen- 
dulum did not move. The little cuckoo, that used to come 
forward in past times to cuckoo the passing hours, had for 
many years ceased to do his duty. Everything was dumb 
and silent ; the clock was out of order. 

But thtt old clavichord near by, made in his father's timCj 
had yet a spark of life left. The strings could yet ring ; trne 3 
they were a little hoarse, but they could ring the melodies of 
a whole life-time. With these, the old man remembered so 
li'ich, both joyful and sorrowful, that had happened in the 
long series of years that hao passed by since he, a littls bov, 
ia\v the comet ; and now, vhen that comet had come again. 



250 



STORIES AND TALES. 



he renumbered what his mother had said about the moth in 
the light ; he remembered the beautiful soap-bubbles tha-t he 
blew, each of them representing a year of his life, as he had 
said, shining and sparkling in wonderful hues. He saw in 
the.m all his pleasures and sorrows, everything beautiful and 
sorrowful. He saw the child and its plays, the youth and his 
fancies, the whole world, in wavy brightness, opening before 
his gazing eyes ; and in that sunlight he saw his future grow. 
These were the bubbles of coming time ; now, an old man, 
he heard from the clavichord's strings the melodies of passing 
time, mind's bubbles, with memory's variegated colors. And 
ne heard his nurse's knitting song, 

" For sure no Amazone 
Did ever stockings knit." 

And then the strings sang the song the old papa of the house 
was wont to sing to him, when a child, 

" In truth full many dangers 

Will grow up here below, 
For him, that yet is young, 
And doth not fully know." 

Now the melodies of the first ball were ringing the minuet 
and molinasky ; then the melancholy notes of the flute passed 
by : bubble after bubble they hurried on, very much like those 
that he blew with soap-water, when a little boy. 

His eyes were turned toward the window : a cloud in the 
sky was gliding by, and, as it passed, revealed the comet to 
his gaze, the sparkling nucleus, the shining tail. 

It seemed as if it had been only the evening of yesterday 
that he had seen that comet, and yet a whole eventful life- 
time lay between that evening and this. Then he was a 
tfiild, and looked through the bubbles into the future ; now 
the bubbles pointed back in the past. 

Once more he had a child's feeling and a child's trust j 
his eyes sparkled, and his hands sank down upon the keys. 
There came a sound as of the breaking of a string. 

" Come out and see ! " shouted the neighbors ; " the comet 
is here, and the sky is so clear ; come out and look ! " 

The old school-master answered not ; he had gone wher 



THE COMET. 25! 

he should see more clearly : his soul was upon a journey fai 
greater than the comet's, and into a wider space than the 
comet has to fly through. 

And the comet was again seen from the rich castle, and 
from the poor shanty ; the crowd in the street gazed at it, and 
the solitary man that walked through the pathless heath. 
But the school-master's soul was seen by God, and the de*f 
aes that had preceded, and whom he so much longed for 



FROM A WINDOW IN VARTOU. 

LOOKING toward the green rampart that iims round 
/ Copenhagen stands a large red house with numerous 
windows, which are garnished with balsams and green trees j 
the rooms within are bare and poverty-stricken, and poor old 
folk inhabit them. The place is called Vartou. 

Look ! an old maid is leaning out from one window, plucks 
off the withered leaves from her balsams, and looks out upon 
the green rampart, where merry children are rolling and 
tumbling ; what can she be thinking of ? A whole life-drama 
moves before her mind's eye. 

The poor children, how merrily they play ! what red cheeks, 
what bright eyes ! little reck they that they have neither shoes 
nor stockings. There they dance, on the very same green 
mound where, as tradition tells, many years back, because the 
earth always sunk, an innocent child was enticed with flowers 
and playthings into its open grave, which was walled up while 
the little one played and feasted. 1 Then the rampart grew 

1 " When, long ago, a rampart was raised round Copenhagen, it kept 
sinking and sinking, and it seemed impossible to make it firm. At last 
they took an innocent little girl, set her upon a chair, with a table before 
her, and gave her toys and sweetmeats, and then, whilst the little one sat 
amusing herself, twelve masons built up an arrk over her, and, that com- 
pleted, flung over it, amid music and shouting, the earth for the rampart, 
hich from that time has been immovable." Thiele, Danmarks Folhesager, 
vol. i. p- 147. 

Nor was this cruel superstition confined to Denmark. Heinrich Heine 
ays, " In the Middle Ages prevailed, popularly, a notion that whenever 
any building had to be erected, some living creature must be slain, and the 
foundation stone raised upon its blood ; this would make the building firm 

ind durable A.nd in numerous legends and songs we find how chil- 

Iren or animals were slaughtered for this purpose." The Servians have a 

wllad ^n the founding of Scutari, telling how workmen had labored for six 

-cars at building the castle, and still the Vila a Servian fairy destroyed 

every night the work of the day ; at las t she tells King Mokaschin that if 



FROM A WINDOW IN VARTOU 



253 



firm and soon wore a garment of fair green turf. But the chil- 
dren have never heard the legend, else they would hear the poor 
betrayed little one still crying from beneath the mould, and the 
dew on the grass would seem to them like burning tears. 
Neither have they heard the history of that king of Denmark 
who, when the enemy lay encamped round the city, rode past 
this spot, and swore he would die in his nest ; or how women 
and men came together and poured boiling water upon the 
white-clad foeman as they crawled up the outer side of tire 
rampart, amid the snow. 

Merrily play the little ones ; neither they, nor the old maid 
watching them, think on these things. 

Play, thou pretty maiden, play ! the years pass quickly ; soon 
comes the blessed, solemn time, when the candidates for Con- 
firmation walk together, hand in hand, and thou among them 
clad in a white robe that has cost thy mother much time and 
work, to make it out of her own dress of long ago. Thou shait 
have a red shawl too ; it is far too big for thee, but at least every 
one can see how big it is ! Thou thinkest now upon thy dress, 
now upon the goodness of the kind Father in heaven who has 
called thee to be His child. And pleasant is it to have a whole 

he wants the walls to stand, he must build up within them either his own 
wife or the wife of one of his two brothers. The bride of the youngest, 
coming with her basket on the morrow with provisions for the workmen, is 
thus sacrificed. 

" And beams they drew, and stones they drew, and higher, higher still 
The wall above her girdle grew, ere once she dreamt of ill." 

Tbe poor lady entreats that a little window might be left in the wall, 
feat her baby might be brought to her every day, for her to nurse him, raA 
Ci request is granted. 

" And yet once more she called on him " (the king) " and whispered in his ear, 
' The wall is at my face. O leave a little window here, 
A little window, for the love of God that sits on high, 
That I might see mine own white house until the hour I die ; 
A little window, brother dear, that I the child may see, 
Both when he hither comes, and when they bear him home from me,' 
And like a brother once again he her petition took, 
And left a window, that she still upon her home might look, 
That she might have the light of God to see her infant still. 
Both coming and returning home when he had sucked his fill " 

The child was thus nursed by his mother, the ballad tells us, for a WM| 
par though only during thr first week could the poor lady's voio I* 
fceard through the opening in the wall. Translator. 



254 STORIES AND TALES. 

holiday, and a walk on the green rampart after service-time. 
And the years pass on ; many dark days come, but youth is 
hopeful, and thou hast won a new friend thou knowest not how. 
You meet, you ramble together on the rampart in early spring, 
while the church-bells ring out the solemn festivals : there are 
no violets in blossom yet, but just outside Rosenborg you find 
a tree decked with the first green buds of spring ; there you 
pause. Every year that tree throws out fresh green shoots ; so 
does not the human heart, and heavier and darker clouds pass 
over the mind of man than ever the northern skies have known. 
Poor child ; thy bridal chamber is a coffin, and thou shalt be 
an old maid ; from Vartou shalt thou look out through the 
balsam blossoms, watch the children at play; and see thy 
history repeated. 

This is the life drama that unfolds its course before the eyes 
of the old maid who looks out on the ramparts, while the sun 
shines, and the merry red-cheeked children w thout shoes at 
stockings sing and sport, like the free birds of the air. 



" GOOD-FOR-NOTHING. 

sheriff stood at the open window ; he wore 

JL and a dainty breast-pin decorated the front of his shirt; 
he was neatly shaven, and a tiny little strip of sticking-plaster 
covered the little cut he had given himself during the process. 
" Well, my little man ? " quoth he. 

The " little man " was no other than the laundress's son, 
who respectfully took off his cap in passing. His cap was 
broken in the rim, and adapted to be put into the pocket on 
occasion ; his clothes were poor, but clean, and very neatly 
mended, and he wore heavy wooden shoes. He stood still 
when the sheriff spoke, as respectfully as though he stood be- 
fore the king. 

" Ah, you're a good boy, a well-behaved boy ! '' said the 
Sheriff. " And so your mother is washing down at the river \ 
she isn't good for much. And you're going to her, I see. Ah, 
poor child ! well, you may go." 

And the boy passed on, still holding his cap in his hand, 
while the wind tossed to and fro his waves of yellow hair. 
He went through the street, down a little alley to the brook, 
where his mother stood in the water, at her washing-stool, 
beating the heavy linen. The water-mill's sluices were opened, 
and the current was strong ; the washing-stool was nearly 
carried away by it, and the laundress had hard work to strive 
against it. 

" I am very near taking a voyage," she said, " and it is so 
cold out in the water ; for six hours have I been standing 
here. Have you anything for me ? " and the boy drew forth 
a phial, which his mother put to her lips. " Ah, that is as 
good as warm meat, and it is not so dear. O, the water is so 
cold but if my strength will but last me out to bring you up 
honestly, my sweet child ! ' 

At that moment approached an elderly woman, poorly clad, 



256 STORIES AND TALES. 

blind of one eye, lame on one leg, and with her hair brushed 
into one large curl to hide the blind eye but in vain, the 
defect was only the more conspicuous. This was " Lame 
Maren," as the neighbors called her, a friend of the washer- 
woman's. " Poor thing, slaving and toiling away in the rold 
water ! it is hard that you should be ca ] led names," for Ma- 
ren had overheard the sheriff speaking to the child about his 
own mother, " hard that your boy should be told you are 
good-for-nothing." 

" What ! did the sheriff really say so, child ? ' said the 
Laundress, and her lips quivered. " So you have a mother 
who is good-for-nothing ! Perhaps he is right, only he should 
not say so to the child but I must not complain, for good 
things have come to me from that house." 

" Why yes, you were in service there once, when the sher- 
iffs parents were alive, many years since. There is a grand 
dinner at the sheriff's to-day," went on Maren ; " it would 
have been put off, though, had not everything been prepared. 
I heard it from the porter. News came in a letter, an hour 
ago, that the sheriff's younger brother, at Copenhagen, is 
dead." 

" Dead ! " repeated the Laundress, and she turned as white 
as a corpse. 

"What do you care about it?' 1 said Maren. "To be 
sure, you must have known him, since you served in the 
house." 

" Is he dead ? he was the best, the kindest of creatures ! 
indeed, there are not many like him," and the tears rolled 
down her cheeks. " O, the world is turning round, I feel so 
ill ! " and she clung to the washing-stool for support. 

u You are ill, indeed ! " cried Maren. " Take care, the stool 
will overturn. I had better get you home at once." 

* But the linen ? " 

" I will look after that only lean on me. The boy can 
stay here and watch it till I come back and wash what is left ; 
it is not much." 

The poor laundress's limbs trembled under her. " I have 
stood too long in the cold water ; I have had no food sinc 
yesterday. O, my poor child ! " and she wept. 



" GOOD-FOR-NO THING." 257 

The boy cried too, as he sat alone beside the brook, watch* 
ing Ihe wet linen. Slowly the two women made their way up 
the little alley and through the street, past the sheriffs house. 
Just as she reached her humble home, the laundress fell down 
on the paving-stones, fainting. She was carried up-stairs and 
put to bed. Kind Maren hastened to prepare a cup of warm 
ale that was the best medicine in this case, she thought 
and then went back to the brook and did the best she could 
with the linen. 

In the evening she was again in the laundress's miserabla 
room. She had begged from the sheriffs cook a few roasted 
potatoes and a little bit of bacon, for the sick woman. Ma- 
ren and the boy feasted upon these, but the patient was satis- 
fied with the smell of them that, she declared, was very 
nourishing. 

Supper over, the boy went to bed, lying crosswise at his 
mother's feet, with a coverlet made of old carpet-ends, blue 
and red, sewed together. 

The Laundress now felt a little better ; the warm ale had 
strengthened her, the smell of the meat done her good. 

" Now, you good soul," said she to Maren, " I will tell you 
all about it, whilst the boy is asleep. That he is already ; 
look at him, how sweetly he looks with his eyes closed ; he 
little thinks how his mother has suffered. May he never feel 
the like ! Well, I was in service with the sheriffs parents 
\vhen their youngest son, the student, came home ; I was a 
wild young thing then, but honest that I must say for my- 
self. And the student was so pleasant and merry, a better 
youth never lived. He was a son of the house, I only a ser- 
vant, but we became sweethearts all in honor and honesty 
and he told his mother that he loved me ; she was like an 
tngel in his eyes, so wise, kind, and loving ! And he went 
away, but his gold ring of betrothal was on my finger. When 
he was really gone, my mistress called me in to speak to her; 
so grave, yet so kind she looked, so wisely she spoke, like an 
anp;el, indeed. She showed me what a gulf of difference in 
Bastes, habits, and mind lay between her son and me. ' He 
.ees you now to be good hearted and pretty, but will you al 
s'ays be the same in his eyes ? You have not been educated 

17 



258 STORIES AND TALES. 

as he has been ; intellectually you cannot rise to his level. 1 
honor the poor,' she continued, ' and I know that in the king- 
dom of heaven many a poor man will sit in a higher seat than 
the rich ; but that is no reason for breaking the ranks in this 
world, and you two, left to yourselves, would drive your car- 
riage full tilt against all obstacles till it toppled over with you 
both. I know that a good hones f handicraftsman, Erik, the 
glove-maker, has been your suitor ; he is a widower without 
children, he is well off ; think whether you cannot be content 
with him.' Every word my mistress spoke went like a knife 
through my heart, but I knew she was right ; I kissed her 
hand, and shed such bitter tears ! But bitterer tears still came 
when I went into my chamber and lay upon my bed. O, the 
long, dreary night that followed ! Our Lord alone knows 
what I suffered. Not till I went to church on Sunday did 
a light break upon my darkness. It seemed providential 
that as I came out of church I met Erik the glove-maker. 
There were no more doubts in my mind ; he was a good man, 
and of my own rank. I went straight to him, took his hand, 
and asked, ' Art thou still in the same mind toward me ? ' 
' Yes, and I shall never be otherwise minded,' he replied. 
* Dost thou care to have a girl who likes and honors thee, but 
does not love thee ? ' 'I believe love will come,' he said, and 
so he took my hand. I went home to my mistress ; the gold 
ring that her son had given me, that I wore all day next my 
heart, and on my finger at night in bed, I now drew forth ; I 
kissed it till my mouth bled, I gave it to my mistres, and said 
that next week the bans would be read for me and the glove- 
aiaker. My mistress took me in her arms and kissed me j 
she did not tell me I was good-for-nothing ; I was good for 
something then, it seems, before I had known so much trouble. 
The wedding was at Candlemastide, and our first year all 
went well ; my husband had apprentices, and you, Maren, 
helped me in the housework " 

" O, and you were such a good mistress ! " exclaimed Ma- 
ren. " Never shall I forget how kind you and your husband 
were to me." 

" Ah, you were with us during our good times ! We had 
no children then. The student I never saw again yes, once 



GOOD-FOR-NOTHING." 259 

I saw him, but ne d.d not see me. He came to his mother's 
funeral ; I saw him standing by her grave, looking so sad, so 
ashy pale but all for his mother's sake. When afterwaid 
his father died, he was abroad and did not come to the fune 
ral. Nor has he been here since ; he is a lawyer, that I knoMJ ; 
and he has never married. But he thought no more of me, 
and had he seen me, he would certainly have never recog- 
nized me, so ugly as I am now. And it is right it should be 



80." 



Then she went on to speak of the bitter days of adversity, 
when troubles had come upon them in a flood. They had five 
hundred rix-dollars, and as in their street a house could be 
bought for two hundred, it was considered a good investment 
to buy it, take it down, and build it anew. The house was 
bought ; masons and carpenters made an estimate that one. 
thousand and twenty rix-dollars more would be required. 
Erik arranged to borrow this sum from Copenhagen, but the 
ship that was to bring him the money was lost, and the money 
with it. " It was just then that my sweet boy, who lies sleep- 
ing here, was born. Then his father fell sick ; for three quar- 
ters of a year I had to dress and undress him every day. We 
went on borrowing and borrowing ; all our things had to be 
sold, one by one ; at last Erik died. Since then I have toiled 
and moiled for the boy's sake, have gone out cleaning and 
washing, done coarse work or fine, whichever I could get \ 
but I do everything worse and worse ; my strength will never 
return any more ; it is our Lord's will ! He will take me 
away, and find better provision for my boy." 

She fell asleep. In the morning she seemed better, and 
fancied she was strong enough to go to her work again. But 
no sooner did she feel the cold water than a shivering seized 
her, she felt about convulsively with her hands, tried to step 
forward, and fell down. Her head lay on the dry bank, but 
her feet were in the water of the brook, her wooden shoes 
were carried away by the stream. Here she was found by 
Maren. 

A message had been taken to her lodging that the sheriff 
wanted her, had something to say to her. It was too late ; 
the poor washerwoman was dead. The letter that had brought 



26O STORIES AND TAT IS. 

the sheriff news of his brother's death also gave an abstract 
of his will ; among other bequests he had left six hundred 
rix-dollars to the glove-maker's widow, who had formerly 
served his parents. " There was some love-nonsense between 
tny brother and her," quoth the Sheriff. " It is all as well she 
is out of the way ; now it will all come to the boy,, and I shall 
apprentice him to honest folk who will make him a good work- 
man." For whatever the sheriff might do, were it ever so 
kind an action, he always spoke harshly and unkindly. So he 
now called the boy to him, promised to provide for him, and 
told him it was a good thing his mother was dead ; she was 
good-for-nothing ! 

She was buried in the paupers' church-yard. Maren planted 
a little rose-tree over the grave ; the boy stood by her side the 
while. 

"My darling mother!' he sighed, as the tears strfamed 
down from his eyes. " It was not true that she was good-for- 
nothing ! ' 

" No, indeed ! '" cried her old friend looking up to heaven. 
" Let the world say she was good-for-nothing ; our Lord i* 
his heavenly kingdom will not say so." 



TWO MAIDENS. 

DO you know what I mean by " a Maiden i "' 1 msao, 
whit our paviors call "a maiden;" a thing used to 
ram down the paving-stones with. This sort of maiden is 
made of wood ; it is broad at one end, with iron hoops round 
it, and at the upper, narrower end a stick is run through it, 
thus supplying the maiden with arms. 

Two such maidens once stood in a yard, among shovels, 
measuring-tapes, and wheelbarrows. Now a report had been 
spread that the maidens were to be called no longer " maidens," 
but " hand-rammers," or " stamps." This report was ex- 
tremely displeasing to them ; on no account would they con- 
sent to give up their good old name. 

" A maiden is a person, a human being," they declared, 
"but 'stamps' and 'hand-rammers' are things, and among 
things will we not be reckoned." 

" My betrothed has a right to object," observed the younger 
of the two, who was betrothed to a ramming-block, that is to 
say, a large machine used in driving stakes into the ground 
doing, in fact, on a larger scale the same sort of work that 
" the maiden " does on a smaller. "As 'a maiden ' he is 
willing to take me, but probably not as a thing, and therefore 
I cannot consent to their changing my name." 

" For my part, I would sooner have my two arms wrenched 
off! " protested the elder. 

But the wheelbarrow was of an opposite opinion, and the 
wheelbarrow, considering itself as a one-wheeled carriage, was 
entitled to respect. " Let me remind you that to be called 
' maidens ' is common enough, not near so distinctive a name 
is 'stamp,' for that has some connection with 'signet' and 
1 seal ; ' and only think of the ' royal signet,' the ' seal of the 
law,' and such-like glorious phrases ! In your place I would 
up the name maiden.' " 



262 STORIES AND TALE3. 

" Never ! I am too old to change ! " declared the elder. 

" You do not seem to understand what is called the Euro- 
pean necessity," said the honest old measuring-tape. " Peo 
pie have to subject themselves, limit themselves, give in to the 
exigencies of the times ; and if it is now regulated that the 
maidens are to be called by a new name, by that new name 
they must be called. There is a measuring-tape for every- 
thing." 

" Then," said the youngest, " if changes must be, I would 
rather be called ' missy,' for a ' missy ' is still a ' maiden/' " 

" But I would rather be chopped up for fire- wood than change 
at all ! " insisted the elder. 

It was now time for work ; the maidens were placed on the 
wheelbarrow, as usual, which was respectful treatment, but 
* maidens ' they were called no longer. 

" Maid ! " cried they, as they stamped upon the paving- 
stones ; " Maid ! " they began, but they did not finish the 
word ; they resolved upon treating the offenders with silent 
contempt. But in their own little society they always spoke 
of each other as " maidens," and praised the good old clays 
when everything was called by its proper name, and they 
themselves were known universally as " maidens." And " mai- 
dens " they both remained, for the r am m ing-block, the big 
machine aforesaid, actually broke off his engagement with the 
youngest ; he would not condescend to anything less than a 
"maiden," 



IN THE UTTERMOST PARTS OF THE SEA." 

SOME large ships were sent up toward the North Pole, [m 
the purpose of discovering the boundaries of land ar.d 
sea, and of trying how far men could make their way, 

A year and a day had elapsed ; amid mist and ice had they, 
with great difficulty, steered farther and farther ; the winter 
had now begun ; the sun had set, one long night would con- 
tinue during many, many weeks. One unbroken plain of ice 
spread around them ; the ships were all fast moored to it \ 
the snow lay about in heaps, and had even shaped itself into 
cubiform houses, some as big as our barrows, some only just 
large enough for two or three men to find shelter within. 
Darkness they could not complain of, for the Northern 
Lights Nature's fire-works now red, now blue, flashed 
unceasingly, and the snow glistened so brightly. 

At times when it was brightest came troops of the natives, 
strange-looking figures, clad in hairy skins, and with sledges 
made out of hard fragments of ice ; they brought skins to ex- 
change, which the sailors were only too glad to use as warm 
carpets inside their snow houses, and as beds whereon they 
could rest under their snowy tents, while outside prevailed an 
intensity of cold such as we never experience during our se- 
verest winters. But the sailors remembered that at home it 
was still autumn , and they thought of the warm sunbeams 
and ihe leaves still clinging to the trees in varied glories of 
crimson and gold. Their watches told them it was evening, 
and time for rest, and in one of the snow houses two sailors 
had already lain down to sleep ; the youngest of these two 
had with him his best home-treasure, the Bible that his grand- 
mother had given him at parting. Every night it lay under 
lis pillow ; he had known its contents from childhood, and 
every day he read a portion; and often as he lay on his couch, 
he recalled to mind those holy words of comfort, " If I should 



264 STORIES AND TALES. 

take the wings of the morning, and remain in the uttermost 
parts of the sea, even there should Thy hand lead me, and 
Thy right hand should hold me." 

These sublime words of faith were on his lips as he closed 
his eyes, when sleep came to him, and dreams with sleep, 
busy, swift-winged dreams, proving that though the body may 
rest, the soul must ever be awake. First he seemed to heal 
the melodies of songs dear to him in his home ; a mild sum- 
mer breeze seemed to breathe upon him, and a light shone 
upon his couch, as though the snowy dome above him had be- 
come transparent ; he lifted his head, and behold ! the daz- 
zling white light was not the white of a snow wall, it came 
from the large wings of an angel stooping over him, an angel 
with eyes beaming with love. The angel's form seemed to 
spring from the pages of the Bible, as from the pitcher of a 
lily-blossom ; he extended his arms, and lo ! the narrow walls 
of the snow-hut sank back like a mist melting before the 
daylight. Once again the green meadows and autumnal- 
tinted woods of the sailor's home lay around him, bathed in 
quiet sunshine ; the stork's nest was empty, but the apples 
still clung to the wild apple-tree ; though leaves had fallen, the 
red hips glistened, and the blackbird whistled in the little 
green cage that hung in the lowly window of his childhood's 
home ; the blackbird whistled the tune he had taught him, 
and the old grandmother wound chickweed about the bars of 
the cage, as her grandson had been wont to do. And the 
smith's pretty young daughter stood drawing water from the 
well, and as she nodded to the grandmother, the latter beck- 
oned to her, and held up a letter to show her, a letter that had 
come that morning from the cold northern lands, from the 
North Pole itself, where the old woman's grandson now was 
safe urder God's protecting hand. And the two women, old 
and young, laughed and wept by turns and he the while, 
the young sailor whose body was sleeping amid ice and snow, 
his spirit roaming in the world of dreams, under the angel's 
wings, saw and heard it all, and laughed and wept with them. 
A.nd from the letter these words were read aloud, " Even in 
the uttermost parts of the sea, His right hand shall hold me 
fast : " and a sweet, solemn music vvas wafted round him. and 



AV THE UTTERMOST PARTS OF THE SEA." 265 

the angel drooped his wings ; like a soft protecting veil they 
fell closer over the sleeper. 

The dream was ended ; all was darkness in the little snow- 
hut, but the Bible lay under the sailor's head, faith and hope 
abode in his heart. God was with him, and his home 
with him, " even in the uttermost parts of the sea," 



THE WINDMILL. 

A WINDMILL stood upon the hill, proud to look at, and 
it was proud too. 

" I am not proud at all," it said, " but I am very much 
enlightened without and within. I have sun and moon for 
my outward use, and for inward use too ; and into the bargain 
I have stearine candles, train-oil lamps, and tallow candles ; 
I may well say that I'm enlightened. I am a thinking being 
and so well constructed that it 's quite delightful. I have a 
good windpipe in my chest, and I have four wings that are 
placed outside my head, just beneath my hat ; the birds have 
only two wings, and are obliged to carry them on their backs. 
I am a Dutchman by birth that maybe seen by my figure 
a flying Dutchman. They are considered supernatural beings, 
I know, and yet I am quite natural. I have a gallery round 
my chest, and house-room beneath it ; that's where my 
thoughts dwell. My strongest thought, who rules and reigns, 
is called by the others ' The Man in the mill.' He knows 
what he wants, and is lord over the meal and the bran ; but 
he has his companion too, and she calls herself ' Mother.' 
She is the very heart of me. She does not run about stupidly 
and awkwardly, for she knows what she wants, she knows 
what she can do ; she 's as soft as a zephyr and as strong as a 
storm she knows how to begin a thing carefully, and to ha\e 
her own way. She is my soft temper, and the father is my 
hard one : they are two, and yet one ; they each call the 
other ' My half.' These two have some little boys, young 
thoughts, that can grow. The little ones keep everything in 
order. When lately, in my wisdom, I let the father and the 
boys examine my throat and the hole in my chest, to see what 
was going on there for something in me was out of order, 
and it's well to examine one's self the little ones made a 
tremendous noise. The youngest jumped up into my hat 



THE WINDMILL. 26? 

and shouted so there that it tickled me. The little thoughts 
may grow ; I know that very well ; and out in the world 
thoughts come too, and not only of my kind, for as far as t 
can see I cannot discern anything like myself; but the wing- 
less houses, whose throats make no noise, have thoughts too, 
and these come to my thoughts, and make love to them, as it 
is called. It 's wonderful enough yes, there are many won- 
derful things. Something has come over me, or into me, 
something has changed in the mill-work : it seems as if the 
one half, the father, had altered, and had received a better 
temper and a more affectionate helpmate so young and 
good, and yet the same, only more gentle and good through 
the course of time. What was bitter has passed away, and 
the whole is much more comfortable. 

" The days go on, and the days come nearer and nearer to 
clearness and to joy ; and then a day will come when it will 
be over with me ; but not over altogether. I must be pulled 
down that I may be built up again ; I shall cease, but yet 
shall live on. To become quite a different being, and yet 
remain the same ! That's difficult for me to understand, how- 
ever enlightened I may be with sun, moon, stearine, train-oil, 
and tallow. My old wood-work and my old brick-work will 
rise again from the dust ! 

" I will hope that I may keep my old thoughts, the father 
in the mill, and the mother, great ones and little ones the 
family ; for I call them all, great and little, the company of 
thoughts, because I must, and cannot refrain from it. 

" And I must also remain ' myself,' with my throat in my 
chest, my wings on my head, the gallery round my body ; else 
I .should not know myself, nor could the others know me, and 
say, ' There's the Mill on the hill, proud to look at, and yet 
not proud at all.' " 

That is what the Mill said. Indeed, it said much more, bui 
that is the most important part. 

And the days came, and the days went, and yesterday was 
the last day. 

Then the mill caught fire. The flames rose up high, and 
beat out and in, and bit at the beams and planks, and >te 
tntm up. The mill fell, and nothing remained of it but a 



268 STORIES AND TALES. 

heap of ashes. The smoke drove across the scene of tfce 
conflagration, and the wind carried it away. 

Whatever had been alive in the mill remained, and what 
had been gained by it has nothing to do with this story. 

The miller's family one soul, many thoughts, and yet 
only one built a new, a splendid mill, which answered its 
purpose. It was quite like the old one, and people said? 
" Why, yonder is the mill on the hill, proud to look at ! " 
But this mill was better arranged, more according to the time 
than the last, so that progress might be made. The old 
beams had become worm-eaten and spongy they lay in dust 
and ashes. The body of the mill did not rise out of the dust 
as they had believed it would do : they had taken it literally, 
god all things are not to be taken literally. 



THE NECK OF A BOTTLE. 

IN a narrow, crooked street, among many shabby 
tions, stood one very narrow, very tall house. None bul 
poor folk dwelt here, but poorest of all looked the attic, where, 
outside the little window, hung in the sunshine an old bird-cage, 
that could not even boast of a proper bird-glass ; it had instead 
the neck of a bottle, placed upside down, with a cork stopping 
up the mouth. At the open window stood an old maid ; she 
had just been adorning the cage with chickweed ; the l ; ttle 
canary who lived a prisoner within it hopped from perch to 
perch, and sang with all his might. 

" Ah ! you may well sing ! " said the broken Bottle. Truly it 
could not speak aloud as we speak, but it had its own thoughts 
within for all that. " Ah ! it is easy for you to sing ! you, with 
your limbs whole. You should just try what it is to have los* 
one's lower half to have only a neck and a mouth left, 
and then a cork stuffed into one. I should like to hear you 
sing then ! But it is well somebody is pleased. I have no 
cause to sing, neither can I, but I could sing once, when I wag 
a whole bottle I was called a lark then. Did not I sing that 
day in the wood when the furrier's daughter was betrothed ? I 
remember it as though it had happened yesterday. T have 
lived through many things I have been through fire and wa- 
ter down in the black earth and higher up than most. And 
.iOw I hover amid air and sunshine outside the cage. It might 
be worth while to listen to my history, but I am not going to 
proclaim it aloud, for one good reason I can't ! ' 

And so it told, or rather thought over, its own history to it- 
self in silence, and the little bird sang merrily the while, and 
the people down below drove, or rode, or walked through the 
street, each thinking of his own affairs, just as the broken 
bottle did. 

It remembered the fiery furnace in the manufactory, whera 



270 STORIES AND TALES. 

it had been blown into existence ; it remembered now warm 
it was at first how it had looked into the wild furnace, the 
home of its birth, and longed to leap into it again. But then 
little by little, as it cooled, it found itself well off where it was, 
standing in a row with a whole regiment of brothers and sis- 
ters, all born from the same furnace, but some blown into 
champagne bottles, others into bottles for ale and this 
makes a difference. Certainly, in the course of time and 
events, an ale-flask may possibly embrace the costliest Lach- 
ryma Christi, and a champagne bottle may be basely filled 
with blacking ; but what each was born for will still be appar- 
ent through the form of each, and not even blacking can efface 
that patent of nobility. 

All the bottles were soon packed up, and packed off, our 
bottle among them. Little at that time did it think of ending 
thus serving as a bird-glass. No matter, it is an honorable 
life that is thus useful to the last. It first saw daylight again, 
after it had been unpacked, together with its comrades, in a 
wine-merchant's cellar, and was then, for the first time, rinsed 
out which was a ridiculous performance, it thought. The 
bottle now lay empty and corkless felt itself wonderfully 
dull, as though wanting something it knew not what. But 
now it was filled with good, glorious wine, received a cork, 
and was sealed up, with a label pasted on it, " Best Quality." 
It felt it was now a first-class bottle ; the wine was good, and 
the bottle was good. Something within it seemed to be sing- 
ing of things it knew nothing whatever about. The green 
sunlit mountains, where grows the vine, and where fair girls 
and merry youths sing and dance together. Ah ! there it is 
right pleasant to live ! Something seemed singing about this 
inside the bottle, as within the hearts of young poets, who yet 
know no more about the matter than the bottle knew. 

One morning it was bought. The furrier's boy was sent to 
fetch a bottle of the best wine, and thus it became transported 
into a large basket, together with ham, cheese, and sausages, 
tne best butter, and the whitest bread. The furrier's daughtei 
herself packed the basket She was very young and ver5 
pretty ; she had laughing brown eyes, and smiling lips, almost 
as expressive as the eyes ; her hands were small, soft, and white 



THE NECK OF A BOTTLE. 

but net so white as her forehead and her throat. She was 
one of the prettiest girls in the town, and not yet betrothed. 

And the basket lay in her lap while the party diove out into 
the wood. The neck of the bottle peeped forth between the 
folds of the white table-cloth ; there was red sealing-^ax 
on the cork, and this sealing-wax looked right into the young 
girl's face, and into the face of the young man who sat next her ; 
he had been her companion from childhood ; he was a portrait- 
painter's son, who had lately passed with honorable mention 
through his examination for the naval service. On the morrow 
he was to go with his ship to foreign lands ; there was some 
talk about his voyage, and just while this was talked about it 
was not quite so pleasant to look at the eyes and lips of the 
furrier's pretty daughter. 

The two young people took a walk in the green forest, talk- 
ing what did they talk about ? The bottle could not hear 
that it was left in the basket. It was very, very long before 
the basket was unpacked, butdien ? Why certainly some pleas- 
ant things must have happened meanwhile, for all eyes were 
laughing, even those of the furrier's daughter, though she 
talked less than before, and her cheeks blushed like two red 
roses. 

The furrier took up the bottle, took up the corkscrew. O ! 
what a strange sensation was that when, for the first time, the 
cork was drawn ! The bottle had never been able to forget 
that solemn moment ; and then the gurgling noise wherewith 
the wine flowed out into the glasses ! 

" The health of the betrothed ! " cried the father, and every 
glass was emptied, and the young man kissed his pretty bride. 
Then he refilled the glasses, exclaiming : " To our joyful wed 
ding this day twelve-month ! ' And when the glasses had been 
smptied the second time, he took the bottle and raised it high 
.n the air, saying: "Thou hast served us here on the brightest 
iay of my life, thou shalt never be profaned by any meanei 
service ! ' 

And he flung it high into the air. But it came down again 
t fell softly among the thick reeds fringing the little wood) a d 
.ake. The broken bottle remembered perfectly well he-* it 
had lain there, thinking- "I gave them w : ne, they gave * 



272 STORIES AND TALES. 

miry water ; no matter, it was well meant ! " It could see no 
more of the happy betrothed and the pleased parents, but it 
could hear them talking and singing in the distance. And 
presently two peasant boys came that way ; they peeped in 
among the reeds, spied out the bottle, and took it a\\ay. Now 
it was provided for. 

At their home in the little woodland hut, where they dwelt, 
they had, the day before, parted from their elder brother, who 
was a sailor, and had been to say farewell before going out on 
a long voyage. The mother was now packing up a few things 
which the father was to take to him in the town that evening 

o 

he would see him once more before his departure. A liUjp. 
flask full of spiced brandy had been placed in the parcel, 
but now the boys showed the larger and stronger bottle which 
they had found it could hold more than the little one. So 
it was filled now, not with red wine as before, but with bitter, 
wholesome drops, good for the stomach. The new-found bottle 
was to go, the little one to stay at home. So now the bottle 
went forth on its travels ; it went on board to be Peter Jen- 
sen's property, on board the very same ship by which went 
the young mate who had been betrothed that morning. He 
never looked at the bottle, or if he had, it would never have 
occurred to him to think, " This is the same bottle from which 
our health was drunk." 

And now it contained not wine indeed, but something as 
good as wine. When Peter Jensen took it out, his comrades 
always called it " The apothecary ; " it gave right good medi- 
cine, they thought, and it helped them as long as a drop was 
left in it. It was a pleasant time, and the bottle sang after 
its fashion; and thus it came to be nicknamed, u The great 
Iark/ : " Peter Jensen's lark." 

A long time had passed away, and it had long stood empty 
in a corner, when the bottle knew not whether it was on 
its way out, or on the way home, it had not been ashore a 
?nighty storm arose. It was night, and pitch-dark ; great 
heavy black waves surged and tossed the vessel to and fro 
the mast broke, the planks flew out, the pumps were of no 
avail. The ship was sinking ; but in the last minute th 
p *oung sailoi wrote on a fragment of paper : " Lord Jesu, have 



THE NECK OF A BOTTLE 



273 



mercy on us ! we perish ! " He added his bride s name, his 
own, and that of the ship, rolled the note into an empty bottle 
that came to his hand, pressed the cork down tight, and flung 
the bottle far into the stormy sea. Little thought he that 
this was the same bottle that Lad given him wine on the day 
of his happiness and hope. Now it rocked and tossed upon 
the billows, bearing its message, its greeting from the dead to 
the living. 

The ship sank, the crew perished, but the bottle flew on 
like a bird it bore a love-letter. And the sun rose up and 
the sun went down that reminded the bottle of the hour of 
its birth, in the red glowing furnace ; it longed to fly into his 
embrace. It encountered new storms ; still it was neither 
swallowed up by sharks nor dashed against rocks. For more 
than a year and a day it drifted about, now northward, now 
southward, as it was carried by the tide. Certainly it was its 
own master ; but one may get tired of that. 

The letter, the last farewell from bridegroom to bride, would 
bring only sorrow, if it ever fell into the right hands. But 
where were those hands ? the hands that had gleamed so 
white when they spread the table-cloth over the fresh grass in 
the green wood, on the day of betrothal ? Where was the 
furrier's daughter ? Where, indeed ? What land was nearest 
now ? The bottle could not answer these questions ; it drifted 
and drifted, and was at last so weary of drifting for which 
it had never been intended ; but it drifted on all the same, 
till at last it was cast ashore on a foreign land. It understood 
not a word of what was spoken here ; it was not the language 
it had always heard before, and one loses much in a country 
wbere one does not understand the language. 

The bottle was picked up and examined, the letter inside 
was noticed, taken out, turned and twisted about, but not a 
R r ord of what was written thereon could the folk make out. 
'.They understood, of course, that the bottle had been flung 
overboard, and that something was written on the paper, but 
that "something" was a complete mystery. And so the note 
was rolled up and put into the bottle again, and the bottle 
was placed in a large cab net, in a large room in a large house. 
Every tune strangers came to tne nouse the note was taken 



274 



STOKIES AND TALES. 



out, unrolled, turned and twisted about, until the writing it 
was only pen ;il-writing became more and more illegible: at 
last the letters could hardly be traced at all. For a year the 
bottle remained in the cabinet, then it was sent up into an 
attic, where it got smothered up with dust and spider-webs : 
there it lurked and thought on its better days, when it poured 
out red wine in the fresh wood ; when it was rocked by the 
billows and had had a secret, a letter, a sigh of farewell, in 
trusted to its safe keeping. 

It was left among old lumber for twenty years ; it would 
have been left there longer still, had not the house been re- 
built. The roof was taken off, the bottle was descried, re- 
marks were made upon it, but it could not understand. One 
learns nothing, banished to a lumber-room not even in 
twenty years. " Had I only spent that time in the parlor 
down-stairs!" sighed the bottle, "how much I should have 
learnt ! " 

It was now washed and rinsed out ; in truth, it needed 
washing. It felt itself quite clear and transparent ; it had 
renewed its youth in its old age, but the note, the precious 
note, was lost in the process. It was now filled with seed- 
corn, corked up tight, and well packed it knew not where, 
but it could see neither lamp nor candle, not to speak of sun 
or moon ; and " it is a pity to see nothing when one is travel- 
ling," thought the bottle. It saw nothing, but it did some- 
thing that was more important; it travelled, and arrived 
it the place for which it was destined. It was unpacked. 

" What a deal of trouble those outlandish folk have taken 
about it ! ' Those were the first words it heard, and it under- 
stood them well ; they were spoken in the language the bottle 
had heard from the first, at the factory, at the wine-mercnant s, 
in the wood, and on shipboard ; the only right, good old 
language, made to be understood ! The bottle had come 
borne to its own country ! it nearly sprang out of the hands 
that held it, in its joy. It was emptied of its contents, and 
sent down into the cellar to be out of the way ; no matter 
home is home, even in the cellar ! There it never thought 
how long it lay unnoticed, it lay comfortably ; and, after ? 
long interval, one day people came in, took this bottle and 
others, and went out. 



THE NECK OF A BOTTLE. 275 

The garden of the house was decked out in great magnih 
rence ; bright -colored lamps were hung in wreaths, and paper 
lanterns shone like large bright tulips. It was a lovely even- 
ing ; the air was still and mild, the stars glittered brilliantly, 
and as for the new moon, why, people with good eyesight, 
could see the whole, like a round, grayish globe, with one 
corner tinged with gold. 

In the sidewalks there were a few illuminations too, though 
not so many as in the centre of the garden ; a row of bottles, 
each with a candle in it, was set up along the hedges. The 
bottle that we know was among these ; it felt perfectly in a 
state of rapture ; it was now in a garden, as formerly it had 
been in the wood ; again it heard festive sounds, song and 
music, the hum and buzz of passers-by, especially from the 
garden-side, where the lamps were burning, and the paper 
lanterns displayed their varied colors. For its own part, it 
stood in a sidewalk that even supplied matter for thought ; 
the bottle stood bearing its light stood there for use and 
for ornament both, and that was just right. In such an houi 
one forgets twenty years spent in a lumber-room and it if 
good to forget when memory is sadness. 

Close by passed a pair, arm in arm, like the bridal pair out 
in the wood, like the mate and the furrier's daughter ; the 
bottle could have believed it had lived it all over again. A 
tide of guests passed to and fro in the gardens, and among 
them an old maid, not friendless, indeed far from it ! but 
one who had survived all her relatives ; and she was thinking 
of the same day years ago that the bottle thought of she 
thought of the green wood and the young pair of betrothed 
lovers. Well might she think of them ! for of those two she 
had been one ; she was the survivor ! that had been t le hap- 
piest hour of her life an hour never to be forgotten, however 
old an old maid may be. But she did not recognize the 
bottle, neither did the bottle recognize her ; and thus folk 
pass one another by in this woild. But they are sure to meet 
again, sooner or later, as did these two, who were now deni- 
ten > of the same town. 

The bottle's fate took it from the garden to the wine-mer 
ixant's ; there it was again filled with wine, and then sold to 



STORIES AND TALES. 

the aeronaut, who took it with him on his next ascent in hi 

jalloon. A crowd of people came to look on, a band of 
jnusicians had been engaged, and many other preparations 
made ; the bottle witnessed all these from a basket, wherein 
he lay in company with a live rabbit, who was wretchedly lo\v- 
spirited, because he knew he went up only to come down 
again with the parachute. The bottle, on the contrary, knew 
nothing about the matter; it saw how the balloon swelled 
out larger and larger, and when larger could not be, it began 
to lift itself higher and higher, to roll uneasily; then the ropes 
that held it down were cut, and up it flew with aeronaut, 
basket, rabbit, and bottle ; the musicians struck up, and th^ 
people all cried, " Hurra ! " 

"This is a new style of navigation," thought the bottle 
" There's one good point about it ; one can hardly run upon 
rocks this way." 

And the eyes of several thousands of people looked after 
the balloon, and the old maid watched it too ; she was stand- 
ing at her open attic window, where hung the cage with the 
little canary, who at that time did not possess a glass for his 
water, but was obliged to content himself with a cup. In the 
window stood a flowering myrtle ; the old maid had thrust it 
on one side while she leaned forward to look out ; she could 
see into the balloon ; she saw how the aeronaut let the rabbit 
fall with the parachute ; how he drank to the health of the 
crowd down below, and then flung the bottle high into the air- 
But she little thought that she had seen this identical bottle 
flying in the air once before, on her day of happiness in the 
green wood, in the time of her youth. 

The bottle had no time to think at all, so unexpectedly had 
he attained the highest point of his life. Towers and roofs Jaj 
far below ; men were so tiny, they could hardly be seen at al', 

And now it sank, quite after a different fashion from the 
rabbit's. The bottle made somersaults in the air, felt itself 
so young, so wild ! it was half filled with wine at first, but not 
for long. What an air-voyage ! The sun shone on the bottle, 
he eyes of all men followed it; the balloon was already far 
iway. Soon the bottle fell upon one of the roofs and dashed 
;<j two, but such a spirit seemed to animate the fragments 



THE NECK OF A BOTTLE. 

&ey could not be still ! They leaped and they rolled, evei 
downward, downward, till they reached the court-yard, where 
they broke into smaller fragments. Only the neck of the 
bottle was left whole ; it looked as if it had been cut off with 
a d : imond. 

' It is still good for a bird-glass," said the man who lived in 
the cellar ; but he himself possessed neither bird nor cage, 
and it would have been hardly worth while to procure these 
only because a fragment of a bottle that might be used as a 
glass had fallen into his hands. But it might be useful to the 
old maid in the attic, he thought ; and thus the broken bottle 
was taken up-stairs, a cork was put in, the part that had for- 
merly been uppermost was set lowest, as often happens in 
changes, fresh water was poured in, and it was hung on thf 
side of the cage for the use of the little bird who sang so mer- 
rily. 

" Ah, it is easy for you to sing! *' quoth the bird-glass. It 
was a remarkable bird-glass, certainly ; it had been up in a 
balloon ; that, at least, was known of its history. Now, in its 
place by the cage, it could hear the hum and buzz of the peo- 
ple in the street below, could hear the old maid chatting in 
her chamber: she had a visitor just now, a friend of her own 
age, and they were talking, not about the bird-glass, but about 
the myrtle at the window. 

" Indeed, I will not let you throw away two rix-dollars for 
-our daughter's bridal bouquet," said the Old Maid. "You 
shall have a charming one, full of flowers ! Just look at my 
beautiful myrtle ! It is only an offshoot from the myrtle you 
gave me the day after my betrothal don't you remember ? 
F was to have made my bridal bouquet from it, when the year 
was up. But my wedding-day never came ! Those eyes 
closed to this world that were to have been my light and joy 
through life , down, down, low beneath the waves he sleeps 
weetly, my own darling ! And the myrtle and I grew old 
ogether ; and when the myrtle withered, I took the last fresh 
-ough, and set it in the mould, and now the bough is a tree, 
nd shall serve at last at a wedding-feast, shall supply you? 
daughter's bridal bouquet ! * 

And there were tears in the old maid's eyes, as she remera 



278 STORIES AND TALES. 

bered her betrothal in the wood, her lover's bright face, hii 
caressing words, his first kiss but she said no more ; she 
was an old maid now. She thought of so many things ; but 
she never thought at all that just outside her window was a 
memorial of that time, even the neck of the bottle whence had 
gushed the wine from which her own and her lover's Lfalth 
had been drunk. Neither did the old bottle recognize her, 
for it did not listen to a single word she said, partly and 
chiefly, because it thought only of itsel 



GOLDEN TREASURE. 

r I " FIE drummer's wife went to church ; she saw the new 

JL altar, the pictures on the walls, the angel-faces carved or 
the arches. Beautiful were the figures in the pictures, dressed 
in bright colors, and with a glory round their heads ; beautiful 
were the carved cherubs too, painted and gilded both, their 
hair shining like gold, like sunshine. But the sunshine itself 
was still more beautiful, the sunshine that God, not man, had 
made ; ever brighter and redder it glowed between the dark 
trees, as the sun went down. And she gazed upon the red 
setting sun, and had her own thoughts about it and many other 
things, but most of all about the little child that the stork 
would bring her ; and the drummer's wife felt so happy while 
she gazed, and she wished most fervently that her child might 
be a creature bright as a sunbeam, or at least as one of the 
shining angels in the church. 

And when she actually held her little one in her arms, and 
lifted it up to show her husband, it seemed to her that her 
infant really had some resemblance to the cherubs ; it had 
hair like gold, hair that had caught the reflection of the setting 
sun. 

" My sunshine, my wealth, my golden treasure ! " cried the 
mother, kissing the bright locks ; and all was gladness, music, 
and song in the drummer's home. The drummer himself beat 
a. whirlwind on his drum, and the drum seemed to cry, " Red 
nair ! the young one has red hair! listen, believe the drum 
and not thy mother ; drum-a-drum, drum ! " 

And the town agreed with the drum. 

** 

Tho boy was taken tc church and christened ; he was named 
Peter. All the town called him " Peter, the drummer's red- 
haired boy ; " but his mother kissed his red hair and called 
aim " Golden Treasure." 



280 STORIES AND TALES. 

In the hollow way, in the soft clay, had a multitude of folk 
scratched their names with a penknife. " That is fame," quoth 
the Drummer; "every one likes to be remembered;" and he 
too scratched his name and that of his little son there. But 
in spring 'came the swallows ; during their travels they had 
seen all manner of characters in the rock-side, or within the 
temple walls of India, chronicling great deeds of mighty kings, 
immortal names, so old that no one could spell them Gut. 
Such is fame ! And the swallows built their nests in the clay, 
and the mould crumbled, and the rain came down, washing 
away all traces of the names, the drummer's and his little son's 
among them. " At any rate, Peter's name-was there for a year 
and a half," quoth his father. 

" Fool ! " thought the Drum ; but it could only say, " Drum- 
i-drum-drum ! Drum-a-drum-drum ! >: 

A boy full of life and spirit was " the drummer's red-haired 
son." A lovely voice he had, and he sang like the birds in 
the wood all melody, and yet no tune. " He must be a 
choir-boy," said his mother ; " he must sing in the church, 
standing under the pretty gilded cherubs, whom he is so 
like." 

"Choir-boy?" repeated the wits of the town. "Say rather 
fire-boy ; " and the drum heard it. 

" Don't go home, Peter," cried the boys in the street. " If 
they send you to sleep in the attic, your hair will set the thatch 
on fire." 

" Beware of the drumsticks ! " returned Peter, clinching his 
little fists ; and tiny fellow as he was, his neighbors learnt to 
keep out of his way. 

The town musician was stiff and proud, a great gentleman 
In his way ; he thought well of Peter, took him home with him, 
and gave him a lesson on the violin ; he fancied there was 
something in the boy's fingers that showed him born to become 
more than a drummer. 

"I will be a soldier!'- declared Peter, who considered il 
the finest thing in the world to wear a uniform, shoulder a gun 
and march, " Left, right ! left, right ! " 

u Ah, thou shalt learn to obey the drumskin, drum-a drun 
drum ! " quoth the Dr un. 



GOLDEN TREASURE. 28 1 

" It is all very well being a soMier when there's a war," said 
Peter's father, " so that one may march home a general." 

" God save us from a war ! " cried his mother. 

"Why, we have nothing to lose," rejoined the Drummer. 

" Yes, we have my boy," she replied. 

" But just think, if he were to come home a general ? " asked 
the father. 

" Without arms and legs ! no, thank you ; I would rathei 
keep my Golden Treasure entire." 

Drum, drum-a-drum-drum ! War came, in real earnest ; the 
soldiers marched forth, and the drummer's red-haired boy with 
them. The mother wept for her " Golden Treasure ; " the father 
saw him in imagination return home " famous ; " the town 
musician thought he had better have stayed at home and 
studied music. 

* 

" Red-tuft ! " cried the soldiers, and Peter only laughed , but 
when some called him " Foxey," he bit his lips and looked 
another way ; that was a jest he did not relish. But the boy 
was brisk, merry, and good-humored, and thus soon became a 
favorite. Amid rain and mist, wet through to the skin, he had 
to sleep many a night under the open sky ; but his good-humor 
did not fail him, and he was up again briskly and sounded 
with his drumsticks, " Drum-a-drum drum ! up every man ! " 
Certainly he was a born drummer-boy. 

It was a day of battle : the sun was not yet risen, but it was 
morning ; the air was cold, the struggle hot, the morning was 
misty, but still more mist came from the gunpowder. Bullets 
and grenades flew overhead ; still " Forward." One after an- 
other the men sank down, their temples bleeding, their cheeks 
white as ashes. But the little drummer-boy's color was still 
fresh ; not a whit hurt, he looked with beaming eyes at the 
viog belonging to the regiment as it ran by his side ; the whole 
seemed more like a game to him, the child to whom the ball? 
jnight have been playthings. 

* Mirch, forward, march ! " were the words of command 
given to the drummers ; but orders may have to be reversed 
and with good reason too and now the word was " Back- 
ward ! " But still the littJe drummer-boy sounded " Marcr* 



2 82 STORIES AND TALES 

forward," not understanding that the order was reversed ; and 
the soldiers obeyed the drum, and stUL advanced. It was weli 
they did so, the blunder gave them a victory. 

Bit victory is dearly bought. The grenades tear oiT the 
flesh in bleeding morsels, set fire to the heap of straw whither 
the poor wounded wretch had dragged himself, thinking to lie 
&afe for many hours, though perhaps only to die forgotten and 
forsaken. These are ill things to think upon, yet think on 
them one must even in the peaceful town far off. How often 
did not Peter's father and mother think of them while he was 
in the war ! 

It was the day of battle ; the sun had not yet risen, but it 
was morning. The drummer and his wife had fallen into a 
slumber after a wakeful night, spent in talking about their boy. 
But he, wherever he was, God's hand was over him they knew. 
And his father now dreamt that the war was ended, that the 
soldiers came home, and that Peter wore a silver cross on his 
breast ; but his mother dreamt that she was in church gazing 
on the pictures and the carved angels with gilded hair, and 
that her own boy her heart's Golden Treasure stood in 
white robes amid the angels, and sang so sweetly, as only 
angels can sing, and was lifted up into the sunshine with them, 
nodding a kindly greeting to his mother. 

" My Golden Treasure ! " she exclaimed, and she awoke. 
" Now I know that our Lord has taken him," said she, and she 
clasped her hand, leant her head against the bed curtains, and 
wept. " Where has he found his rest ? in the wide grave they 
dig for so many of the brave dead, or in the waters of the 
marsh ? No one will know his grave, no holy words will be 
read over it." And the Lord's Prayer passed mutely through 
her mind, her head drooped in weariness, and she fell asleep. 

Days slip away, now in waking hour?,, now in dreams. 

It was evening ; a rainbow arched over the field of battle, 
touching the skirt of the wood and the deep moor. There is 
a popular saying, " Where the rainbow touches the earth a 
treasure lies buried, a golden treasure ; " so it was nere ; no 
one thought of the little drummer-boy as his mother thought 
and therefore had she thus dreamt of him. But not a hair of 
his head was lost, not a single golden hair. " Drum-a-druru 



GOLDEN TREASURE. 283 

drum ; see him come, see him come \ " For with song and 
shout, and decked with the green leaves of victory, the regi- 
ment marched home ; the war was ended, peace was pro- 
claimed. The dog belonging to the regiment jumped and ran, 
making many wide circuits, as though to make the journey 
three times longer. 

Days and weeks slipped away, and, behold, Peter entered 
his parents' room : he was as brown as a wild man of the 
woods, his eyes so bright, his face beaming as the sunshine. 
And his mother clasped him in her arms, kissed his lips, his 
eyes, his red hair. She had her boy again : there was no sil- 
ver cross on his breast, as his father had dreamt, but he had 
his whole bones, which his mother had not dreamt. What joy ! 
all three laughed and wept by turns, and Peter embraced the 
old drum in the corner : " Here it stands still, the old thing ! " 
and his father beat a tattoo upon it, " as much fuss as though 
there were a fire in the town," quoth the old drum to itself. 



And now what next ? Ask the town musician. " Peter 
grows too big to be a drummer-boy," said he ; " Peter will be 
a bigger man than I," which was true enough, for all that he 
had taken a life-time to learn, Peter learnt in half a year. 
And he took such delight in learning, he enjoyed everything, 
his eyes sparkled and his hair shone, as could not be denied. 

" He should dye his hair," said their next door neighbor. 
The police-master's daughter did so, and how well it 
uiswered ; she was betrothed immediately." 

" But her hair soon afterward grew as green as duckweed, 
and she has had to dye it again, ever so many times," 

" Well, she can afford it, and so can Peter. Does not he go 
.;ito the best houses, even to the mayor's, to teach Miss Lotty 
the harpsichord ! " Ah ! Peter knew how to play, to play 
right out of his heart charming pieces that had never been 
noted down on music paper. Through moonlight nights and 
stormy nights he played alike played till his thoughts grew 
Strong and soaring, and great plans for the future hovered be- 
fore him. And he sat beside the mayor's daughter, Miss 
Lotty, at the harpsichord, and her delicate fingers danced 
lightly over chords that vibrated right into Peter's heart ; it 



284 STORIES AND TALES. 

seemed as though it were growing too big for his body to holj 
it, and this happened not once only, but many times, and so it 
chanced that one day he seized the delicate fingers and the 
daintily formed hand and kissed it, and looked right into hei 
large brown eyes. There's no telling what he said, but \ve 
may guess it. And Lotty colored crimson, face and neck, and 
not a word did she answer, and just then strangers came imo 
the room, among them the councilor's son, with his high 
smooth forehead. But Peter stayed on, and Lotty's kindest 
glances were given to him. 

That evening at home he talked of going abroad, and of the 
golden treasure that his violin was for him. " Drum-a-drum 
drum," thought the old drum in the corner. " So Peter has 
gone mad ; the house is on fire, methinks." 

Next day the mother went to market. " Have you heard the 
news, Peter ? ' began she on her return. " Charming news 1 
The mayor's daughter, Miss Lotty, was betrothed to the coun- 
cilor's son yesterday evening ! ' 

" No ! '' cried Peter, springing up from his chair. But his 
mother insisted " Yes ; " she had it from the barber's wife, and 
the barber had it from the mayor's own lips. And Peter 
grew pale as death, and sat down again in his chair. 

" What is the matter with you ? " cried his mother. 

" All right ! let me alone ! " said he, but the tears rolled 
down his cheeks. 

" My sweet child ! my Golden Treasure ! " muttered the 
mother ; and she wept, while the old drum in the corner sang 
to itself: " Lotty is dead ! Lotty is dead ! and now the song is 
crded ! " 



But no, the song was not ended ; many verses, and some of 
the best, had yet to be sung. " What a fuss she makes J ' 
quoth the next door neighbor of Peter's mother. " All the 
world mus f read the letters she gets from her Golden Treasure, 
and hear what the newspapers say about him and his violin. 
He sends her money too, and he had need, now she is J 
widow." 

* He plays before kings and emperors," said the town mus: 



GOLDEN TREASURE. 385 

dan. ** Tnat never fell to my lot, but he is at least my pupil,, 
and will not forget his old master." 

" My husband dreamt," said his mother, "that Peter came 
home from the war with a silver cross on his breast ; he does 
wear a cross now, though not one earned in the war ; he bears 
an order of knighthood. His father should have lived to see 
it ! " 

" He is famous ! " quoth the old drum, and everybody in his 
native town said the same. Peter, the drummer's red-haired 
boy Peter, whom they had seen in wooden shoes, a little 
drummer-boy was now famous. 

" He played to us before he played to the king," said the 
mayor's wife. " Once upon a time he was mad about our 
Lotty how my husband laughed when he was told of it 1 
Ah ! that boy must be always looking so high ! " 

Yes, a golden treasure lay hidden in the heart and soul of 
the drummer's boy, who had formerly sounded " Forward ! ' 
to troops ready to retreat a golden treasure, the gift of 
music. In his violin seemed sometimes to dwell the power 
and volume of an organ ; while at other times all the elves of 
Midsummer Eve seemed dancing as he touched the strings, 
and the throstle's song and the human voice were heard be- 
tween ; and thus all hearts were moved when he played, and 
his name was borne throughout all lands. " And then he is 
so handsome ! " said some of the ladies, old as well as young; 
and one lady who had set up an album for the locks of cele- 
brated characters, begged for a tress from the young violinist's 
abundance of hair, " red," or " golden," as you liked to call it. 

And now once more to the drummer's lowly dwelling re- 
turned the son, handsome as a prince, happier than a king, his 
eyes sparkling, his face like sunshine. And he held his 
mother in his arms, and she kissed him, and wept for joy ; and 
he greeted as old friends every piece of worn-out furniture the 
room possessed, even to the chest of drawers, with the tea- 
cups and flower-glass upon it, and the little cot where he had 
slept when a child. But the old drum he digged forward 
into the middle of the room, saying : " Father would have 
sounded a welcome upon thee to-day, but now I must do it 
instead/' And he thundered so upon the drum ! a legular 



286 STORIES AND TALES. 

tempest it was, and the old drum felt honored hereby. But 
somehow it chanced that the drumskin burst. 

" Well ! he has a fist ! " quoth the old drum to itsel 
* Now I shall always keep a souvenir of him ! I expect thai 
another, too, will burst for joy over her Golden Treasure 1 * 

This is the history of Golden Treasure. 



GREAT-GRANDFATHER. 

GREAT-GRANDFATHER was so lovable, wise, aad 
good ! We all looked up to great-grandfather. H 
used be called, as far back as I can remember, " Father's- 
father," and also " Mother's-father ; " but when brother Fred- 
erick's little son came into the family, he was promoted, and 
got the title of " Great-grandfather. ' He could not expect to 
get any higher ! 

He was very fond of us all, but our times he did not seem 
fond of. "Old times were good times," he used to say; 
" quiet and steady-going they were ; in these days there is 
such a hurrying and turning upside-down of everything. The 
young people lay down the law, and speak of the kings, even, 
as if they were their equals. Any good-for-nothing fellow can 
dip a rag in rotten water, and wring it out over the head of an 
honorable man ! ' : 

Great-grandfather would get quite angry and red in the face, 
when he talked of these things ; but very soon he would smile 
his kind, genial smile, and say, " Well, well ! I may be mis 
taken ; I belong to the old times, and can't quite get a foot- 
hold in the new ! May God lead and guide us aright ! ' 

When great-grandfather got to talking of old times, it 
seemed to me that I was living in them, so clearly did I see it 
all. Then I fancied myself driving along in a gilt coach, with 
fine liveried servants standing on the step behind ; I saw the 
guilds move their signs, and march in procession, with ban- 
ners, and with music at their head ; I was present at the merry 
Christmas feasts, where games of forfeit were being played, 
and where the players were dressed in fancy dress and mask. 
It is true that in those old times cruel and dreadful things 
rsed to happen, such as torture, and rack, and bloodshed j 
but all these horrors had something stirring about them that 
Saucinated me. I used to fancy how it was when the Danish 



288 STOJtIES AND TALEb. 

lords gave the peasants their liberty, and when the Crown 
Prince of Denmark abolished the sla\e- trade. 

It was famous to hear great-grandfather tell of all Ibis, and 
to hear him speak of his youth. But I think the times before 
that, even, were the very best of all, so strong and great ! 

" It was a rude time ! " said brother Frederick ; " thank 
God we are well out of it ! ' And he used to say this right 
out to great-grandfather : that was very improper, I know, bu$ 
I had great respect for Frederick all the same. He was my 
oldest brother, and he said he was old enough to be my 
father, but then he said so many odd things. He had grad- 
uated with honors, and was so bright and clever at his work in 
father's office that father intended to take him into partnership 
soon. He was the one, of us all, that great-grandfather talked 
most to ; but they did not get on well, and always fell to argu- 
ing ; they did not understand each other, those two, and 
never would, said the family ; but, small as I was, I soon 
saw that neither of them could do without the other. Great- 
grandfather used to listen with the brightest look in his eyes, 
when Frederick read aloud about the progress in science, or 
new discoveries of natural laws, and of all the other wonders 
of our age. 

" The human race grows cleverer, but not better," great- 
grandfather used to say ; " they take pains to contrive the most 
dreadful and hurtful weapons, wherewith to kill and maim 
each other." 

" So much the sooner will the war be over/' Frederick would 
reply ; " then one need not wait seven years for the blessings 
of peace. The world is full-blooded, and needs a blood-let- 
ting from time to time that is a necessity." 

One day Frederick told him of something that had really 
happened in a small country, and in our age. The mayor's 
clock the large clock on the City Hall marked the time 
for the city, and for all its inhabitants. The clock did not gc 
very well, but that did not matter, nor prevent everybody fron? 
being guided by it. Then by and by railways were built in 
that country, and clocks are always connected with the rail- 
ways in other countries, so that one must be veiy sure of 
the time, and know it very exactly, or else there will be colli 




GREAT-GRANDFATHER. See page 287. 



GA EA T-GRANDFA THER. 289 

sions. At the railway station they had a sun-regulated clock 
that was perfectly reliable and exact, but not so the may- 
or's, and now everybody went by the railway clock. 

I laughed, and thought it was a funny story, but great-grand- 
father did not laugh ; he grew very serious. 

" There is a deep meaning in what you have been telling 
me," he said, " and I understand the thought that prompted 
you to tell it to me. There is a moral in that clock-work ; it 
makes me think of another clock, my parents' plain, old- 
fashioned Barnholm clock, with the leaden weights. It was 
the time-measurer for their lives, and for my childhood. I 
dare say it did not go very correctly, but it did go, and we 
used to look at the hour-hand, and believed in it, and never 
thought about the wheels inside. The government machin- 
ery was like that old clock ; in those days everybody had 
faith in it, and only looked at the hour-hand. Now the gov- 
ernment machinery is like a clock in a glass case, so that one 
can look right into the machinery, and see the wheels turning 
and whizzing : one gets quite anxious, sometimes, as to what 
will become of that spring, or that wheel ! And then I think 
how will it be possible for all this to keep time ? and I miss 
my childish faith in the faultlessness of the old clock. That 
is the weakness of these times ! ' : 

And then great-grandfather would talk till he got quite 
angry. He and Frederick did not agree well, and yet they 
could not bear to be separated, "just like the old times 
and the new. " They both felt this when Frederick was to 
start on his journey, far away, to America. It was en busi- 
ness for the f". r m, that he had to go. A sad parting it was 
for great-grandfather, and a long, long journey, quite across 
an immense ocean, and to another part of the globe. 

" You shall have a letter from me every fortnight," said 
Frederick, " and, quicker than by any letter you will hear oi 
me by means of the telegraph. The days will be like hours, 
and the hours like minutes ! ' 

Through the telegraph came a greeting from Frederick, 
from England, when he was going on boird the steamer. 
Sooner than by letter even if the quick sailing clouds had 

19 



290 STOXIES AND TALES. 

been postmen came news from America, where 1 rsdericfc 
had gone on shore but a few hours since. 

" What a glorious, divine thought this is, that is given us in 
this age," said great-grandfather ; " it is a real blessing for the 
human race." 

"And it was in our country," I said, ' that that law of na 
ture was first understood and expressed. Frederick told m 
so !" 

" Yes," said great-grandfather, and kissed me ; " and I have 
looked into the two kind eyes that were the first to see this 
wonderful law of nature, they were child's eyes, like yours, 
and I have pressed his hand ! " and then he kissed me 
again. 

More than a month had passed, when a letter from Fred- 
erick brought us the news that he was engaged to a beautiful 
and lovable young girl, whom he was sure the whole family 
would be delighted with. He sent her photograph, too, and 
we all looked at it just so with our eyes, and then with a mag- 
nifying-glass ; for this is the beauty of those pictures, that 
not only can they bear the closest inspection by the sharpest 
magnifying-glass, but that then, and not till then, you get the 
full likeness. This is what no painter has been able to do, 
not even the greatest in old times. 

" If only that discovery had been made earlier in my time," 
said great-grandfather, " then we might now have seen, fact 
to face, the world's greatest a>nd best men ! How good and 
gentle this young girl looks," and he gazed long at her through 
the glass. " Now I know her face, I shall recognize her a? 
once when she comes in at the door." But that had very 
nearly never come to pass ; luckily, we at home did not hea? 
of the danger till it had past. 

The young couple reached England pleasantly and safely, 
and from there they meant to go by steamer to Copenhagen. 
They were in sight of land, the Danish coast, and the white, 
sandy downs of the west coast of Jutland. There was a heavy 
sea, that threatened to dash the ship on the shore, and no life- 
boat could get out to them. Then came the night, dark and 
dismal ; but in the midst of the darkness came a bright blaz 
ing rocket from the shore, and shot out far over the ship thai 



GREA T- GRANDPA TffER. 2 9 1 

was aground. The rocket carried a rope, that fell down on 
the ship ; and thus the connection between those on shore 
and those at sea was established. And soon, through the 
heavy, rolling sea, the saving-car was being drawn slowly to- 
ward the shore : and in it was a young and lovely woman, 
alive and well ; and wonderfully happy was she when her 
young husband stood by her side on the firm, sandy beach- 
All on board were saved, and that before it was quite day. 

We were sound asleep here in Copenhagen, thinking neithei 
of sorrow nor danger. When we were all assembled for 
breakfast came a rumor, caused by a telegram, of the wreck 
of an English steamer on the west coast. We all grew heart- 
sore and anxious ; but within the hour came a telegram from 
the dear ones, who were saved, Frederick and his young 
wife, who would soon be with us. 

All cried ; I cried too, and great-grandfather cried, and 

folded his hands, and I am sure of it blessed the present 
age. 

That day great-grandfather gave two hundred rix-dollars 
toward erecting the monument to Hans Christian Orsted. 
When Frederick came home with his young wife, and heard 
of it, he said : " That was right, great-grandfather! Now I'll 
read for you what Orsted wrote, many, many years ago, abou" 
old times and new times ! " 

" I suppose he was of your opinion," said great-granclfathei 
" Yes, that you may be sure of," said Frederick ; " and sc- 
are you, for you have given something to his monument 1 " 



HOLGER DANSKE. 

IN Denmark there lies a castle named Kronborg. It lies 
close by the Ore sound, where the ships pass th/ough by 
hundreds every day English, Russian, and likewise Prus- 
sian ships. And they salute the old castle with cannons 
* Boom ! ' And the castle answers with a ' Boon: ! ' for that 5 * 
what the cannons say instead of ' Good-day ' and ' Than!: 
you ! ' In winter no ships sail there, for the whole sea is cov- 
ered with ice quite across to the Swedish coast ; but it rus 
quite the look of a high road. There wave the Danish fl.ig 
and the Swedish flag, and Danes and Swedes say ' Good-day ' 
and ' Thank you ! 5 to each other, not with cannons, but with a 
friendly grasp of the hand ; and one gets white bread and 
biscuits from the other for strange fare tastes best. But the 
most beautiful of all is the old Kronborg ; and here it is that 
Holger Danske sits in the deep dark cellar, where nobody goes. 
He is clad in iron and steel, and leans his head on his strong 
arm ; his long beard hangs down over the marble table, and 
has grown into it. He sleeps and dreams, but in his dreams 
he sees everything that happens up here in Denmark. Every 
Christmas Eve comes an angel, and tells him that what he 
has dreamed is right, and that he may go to sleep in quiet, for 
that Denmark is not yet in any real danger ; but when once 
such a danger comes, then old Holger Danske will rouse him- 
self, so that the table shall burst when he draws out his beard ! 
Then he will come forth and strike, so that it shall be heard 
in all the countries in the world. 5 ' 

An old grandfather sat and told his little grandson all this 
about Holger Danske ; and the little boy knew that what his 
grandfather told him was true. And while the old man sat 
and told his story, he carved an image which was to represent 
Hclger Danske, and to be fastened to the prow of a ship ; for 
the old grandfather was a carver of figure-heads, that is, ona 



h'OLGER DANSKE. 



293 



who cuts out the figures fastened to the front of ships, and 
from which every ship is named. And here he had cut out 
Holger Danske, who stood there proudly with his long beard, 
and held the broad battle-sword in one hand, while with the 
other he leaned upon the Danish arms. 

And the old grandfather told so much about distinguished 
men and women, that it appeared at last to the little grandson 
as if he knew as much as Holger Danske himself, who, after 
all, could only dream ; and when the little fellow was in his 
bed, he thought so much of it, that he actually pressed his 
chin against the coverlet, and fancied he had a long beard that 
had grown fast to it. 

But the old grandfather remained sitting at his work, and 
carved away at the last part of it ; and this was the Danish 
coat of arms. When he had done, he looked at the whole, 
and thought of all he had read and heard, and that he had 
told this evening to the little boy ; and he nodded, and wiped 
his spectacles, and put them on again, and said, 

"Yes, in my time Holger Danske will probably not come \ 
lut the boy in the bed yonder may get to see him, and be 
there when the push really comes." 

And the old grandfather nodded again : and the more he 
Kx>ked at Holger Danske the more plain did it become to 
tdm that it was a good image he had carved. It seemed really 
'.o gain color, and the armor appeared to gleam like iron and 
Ueel ; the hearts in the Danish arms became redder and red- 
ler, and the lions with the golden crowns on their heads leaped 



"That's the most beautiful coat of arms there is in the 
i orld ! " said the old man. " The lions are strength, and the 
fceart is gentleness and love ! " 

And he looked at the uppermost lion, and thought of King 
Canute, who bound great England to the throne of Denmark \ 
and he looked at the second lion, and thought of Waldemar, 
who united Denmark and conquered the Wendish lands ; and 
he glanced at the third lion, and remembered Margaret, who 
united Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. But while he looked 
at the red hearts, they gleamed more brightly than bef >re ; 
they became flames, and his heart followed each of them. 
1 The Danish arms consist of three lions between nine hearts- 



294 STORIES AND TALES. 

The first heart led him into a dark, narrow prison ; there sat 
a piisoner, a beautiful woman, the daughter of King Christian 
IV., Eleanor Ulfeld ; 1 and the flame which was shaped like a 
rose, attached itself to her bosom and blossomed, so that it 
became one with the heart of her, the noblest and best of all 
Danish women. 

And his spirit followed the second flame which led him out 
upon the sea, where the cannons thundered and the ships lay 
shrouded in smoke ; and the flame fastened itself in the 
shape of a ribbon of honor on the breast of Hvitfeld, as he 
blew himself and his ship into the air, that he might save the 
fleet. 3 

And the third flame led him to the wretched huts of Green- 
land, where the preacher Hans Egede 8 wrought, with love in 
every word and deed : the flame was a star on his breast, an- 
other heart in the Danish arms. 

And the spirit of the old grandfather flew on before the 
waving flames, for his spirit knew whither the flames desired to 
go. In the humble room of the peasant woman stood Fred- 
erick VI., writing his name with chalk on the beam. 4 The 
flame trembled on his breast, and trembled in his heart ; in 
the peasant's lowly room his heart too became a heart in the 
Danish arms. And the old grandfather dried his eyes, for he 

1 This highly gifted Princess was the wife of Corfitz Ulfeld, who was 
accused of high treason. Her only crime was the most faithful love to her 
unhappy consort ; but she was compelled to pass twenty-two years in a 
feorribls dungeon, until her persecutor, Queen Sophia Amelia, was dead. 

2 In the naval battle in Kjoge Bay between the Danes and the Swedes, 
in 1710, Hvitfeld's ship, the Dannebrog, took fire. To save the town of 
Kjflge, and the Danish fleet which was being driven by the wind toward 
his vessel, he blew himself and his whole crew into the air. 

* Hans Egede went to Greenland in 1721, and toiled there during fifteen 
years among incredible hardships and privations. Not only did he spread 
Christianity, but exhibited in himself a i emarkable example of a Christiar 
man. 

* On a journey on the west coast of Jutland, the King visited an old 
woman. When he had already quitted her house, the woman ran aftei 
him and begged him, as a remembrance, tc write his name upon a beam ; 
the King turned back, and complied. During his whole life-tune he fel* 
and worked for the peasant class ; therefore the Danish peasants beggetf 
to be allowed to carry his coffin to the royal vault at Roeskilde, four Ds.n 
wh mi!es from Copenhagen. 



HOLGER DANSKE. 295 

had known K'lng Frederick with the silvery locks and the hon- 
est blue eyes, and had lived for him : he folded his hands, and 
looked in silence straight before him. Then came the daugh- 
ter-in-law of the old grandfather, and said it was late, ie 
ought now to rest ; and the supper table was spread. 

" But it is beautiful, what you have done, grandfather ! ' 
said she. " Holger Danske, and all our old coat of arms I 
It seems to me just as if I had seen that face before ! " 

" No, that can scarcely be," replied the old grandfathei : 
" but I have seen it, and I have tried to carve it in wood as I 
have kept it in my memory. It was when the English lay in 
front of the wharf, on the Danish second of April, 1 when we 
showed that we were old Danes. In the Denmark, on board 
which I was, in Steen Bille's squadron, I had a man at my 
side it seemed as if the bullets were afraid of him ! Mer- 
rily he sang old songs, and shot and fought as if he were 
something more than a man. I remember his face yet ; but 
whence he came, and whither he went, I know not nobody 
knows. I have often thought he might have been old Holger 
Danske himself, who had swum down from the Kronborg, and 
aided us in the hour of danger : that was my idea, and there 
stands his picture." 

And the statue threw its great shadow up against the wall, 
and even over part of the ceiling ; it looked as though the 
real Holger Danske were standing behind it, for the shadow 
moved ; but this might have been because the flame of the 
candle did not burn steadily. And the daughter-in-law kissed 
the old grandfather, and led him to the great arm-chair by the 
table ; and she and her husband, who was the son of the old 
man, and father of the little boy in the bed, sat and ate theii 
upper ; and the grandfather spoke of the Danish lions and of 
the Danish hearts, of strength and of gentleness ; and quirt 
Clearly did he explain that there was another strength besides 
he power that lies in the sword ; and he pointed to the shelf 
on which were the old books, where stood the plays of Hoi- 
berg, which had been read so often, for they were very amus- 
ing ; one could almost fancy one recognized the people of by- 
gone days in them. 

1 On the 2d of April, 180., ocrurred the sanguinary naval battle l)e 
hureen the Danes ancf the English, under Sir Hyde Parker and Nelson. 



* 96 STORIES AND TALES. 

" See, he knew how to strike, too," said the grandfather 
"he scourged the foolishness and prejudice of the people so 
long as he could " and the grandfather nodded at the mirror, 
above which stood the calendar, with the " Round Tower " l 
on it, and said, "Tycho Brahe was also one who used the 
sword, not to cut into flesh and bone, but to build up a plainer 
way among all the stars of heaven. And then he whose 
father belonged to my calling, the son of the old figure-head 
carver, he whom we have ourselves seen with his silver hairs 
and his broad shoulders, he whose name is spoken of in all 
lands ! Yes, he was a sculptor ; / am only a carver. Yes, 
Holger Danske may come in many forms, so that one hears 
in every country in the world of Denmark's strength. Shall 
we now drink the health of Bertel ? " 2 

But the little lad in the bed saw plainly the old Kronborg 



with the Ore Sound, the real Holger Danske, who sat deep 
below, with his beard grown through the marble table, dream- 
ing of all that happens up here. Holger Danske also dreamed 
of the little humble room where the carver sat ; he heard all 
that passed, and nodded in his sleep, and said, 

" Yes, remember me, ye Danish folk ; remember me. I 
shall come in the hour of need." 

And without by the Kronborg shone the bright day, and the 
wind carried the notes of the hunting-horn over from the 
neighboring land ; the ships sailed past, and saluted " Boom ! 
boom ! " and from the Kronborg came the reply, " Boom 1 
boom ! ' Bvt Holger Danske did not awake, however loudly 
they shot, for it was only "Good-day" and "Thank you! 1 * 
There must be another kind of shooting before he awakes 
but he will awake, for there is faith in Holger Danske. 

1 The astronomical observatory at Copenhagen. 
Bertel Thorwaldsen. 



THE OLD BACHELOR'S NIGHTCAP. 

THERE is in Copenhagen a street known by the strange 
name of Hysken Street. Why is it so named r what 
can " Hysken " mean ? The name was originally German \ 
" Hauschen," it ought to be called, meaning " small houses." 
For the houses in this street at the time it received its name 
were very much like the wooden booths we still see set up in 
the markets, a little bigger perhaps, and provided with win- 
dows ; but then these windows were made only of horn or 
stretched bladder, for at that time glass windows were too 
dear to be common. And the time referred to is so very long 
ago, that my great-great-grandfather, when he spoke of it, 
always called it " the days of old." It was, in fact, several 
hundred years ago. 

The rich merchants of Bremen and Liibeck used then to 
trade in Copenhagen, not in their own persons, but sending 
thither their clerks, who dwelt in the wooden booths in the 
Street of Small Houses, and there sold their ales and spicery ; 
good German ales of different kinds, and all manner of spices, 
saffron, anise, ginger, and especially pepper. And from this 
very pepper which they sold, these petty German traders in 
Denmark came to be called " Pebersvende," or" Pepper-boys." 
And as it formed part of the engagement they entered into 
before they left home that they were not to marry in Denmark, 
and as many of them sojourned in Copenhagen till they were 
quite old men, living alone, cooking and doing everything fo? 
themselves, they often grew such odd old fellows, with such 
peculiar whims and ways, and from them the name of 
* Pebersvend " has come to be given to all single men who 
have attained old age. So much by way of introduction. 

Up in the Street of Small Houses, in the old times, there 
was no pavement ; folk tumbled into hole after hole, and very 
aarrow was it ; the booths were such near neighbors that in 



298 STORIES AND TALES. 

summer time a rope was often suspended auoss the street 
from one booth to the opposite one. And everywhere was 
such an aromatic odor of pepper, saffron, and ginger. Behind 
the counters stood not young lads, no, but old fellows clad 
after old fashions. It is a pity it never occurred to one of 
them to have his portrait painted, for it would be worth while 
now to possess a picture of any one of them, as he stood be- 
hind the counter or walked to church on holidays. The hat 
was broad-brimmed and high-crowned, with perhaps a feather 
in it, if the wearer were not very old ; the woollen shirt was 
concealed by a smooth linen collar ; the jacket was neatly but- 
toned up, the cape hung loosely over it, and the breeches 
reached down to the square-toed shoes ; stockings they wore 
not. In the belt were fastened a spoon and knife, to be used 
at meals, nay, also a larger knife, or dagger, for self-defense, 
as was often needed in those days. Clad after this fashion, on 
festival clays, was old Anthony, one of the oldest traders of 
the Small Houses, with this addition, that under his hat he 
wore a knitted cap, a regular nightcap. He had used himself 
to it, and wore it always ; he possessed two exactly alike ; he 
was just the old fellow for a picture : long and lean as a lath, 
wrinkled about the lips and eyes ; he had long bony fingers 
and gray bushy eyebrows. Over his left eye hung a perfect 
tuft ; it was not handsome, certainly, but it made him a man 
easily recognized. It was said of him that he came from 
Bremen : this was a mistake ; his mother lived there, but he 
himself came from Thuringia, from the town of Eisenach, 
close under Wartburg. Of these places old Anthony spoke 
but little, but he thought the more. 

The old fellows in the Small Houses rarely met together \ 
each sojourned in his own booth, which was shut up early in 
*"he evening, and then looked dark enough, with only a faint 
ray of light piercing through the little horn window-pane on 
the roof. Within, perhaps, the solitary foreigner was sitting 
on his bed, chanting his evening psalm out of his old German 
hymn-book, or was poking about over his household matters 
A merry life it was not by any means ; a bitter lot is that of 
the stranger in a strange land. 

A miserable place indeed was the Street of Small Housei 



THE OLD BACHELOR'S NIGHTCAP. 299 

on a dark, stormy night, amid wind and rain. Not a light 
could be seen save the one very small lamp hanging just at 
the end of the street under the picture of the Blessed Virgin 
which was painted on the wall, and the water was heard 
splashing, splashing ceaselessly against the wood-work. Such 
evenings must be long and lonesome, and would be worse 
Kill were people unoccupied. To pack and unpack, polish 
one's scales, etc., cannot be needful every day, but then one 
generally finds something else to be done. So at least always 
did old Anthony ; he had his clothes to patch, his shoes to 
mend. And when at last he got into bed, and drew his night- 
cap closer over his face, he was pretty sure to draw it up again 
to see if his light were properly extinguished. He would feel 
about, draw down the wick, turn round on the other side, and 
lie clown again, but then would come the thought, " I wonder 
whether every coal has really burnt out in the little fire ; one 
spark might kindle up into mischief," and with this idea he 
would creep out of bed, grope his way down the steps, 
staircase it could not be called, and yet when he got down 
there was sure to be not a single spark left in the little fire- 
pot. Yet before he had got half-way back to bed, he would 
feel uncertain whether he had drawn the iron bolt over his 
door. His lean limbs shivered, and his teeth chattered with 
cold before he got safe into bed again ; then he would draw 
the coverlet closer, his nightcap closer over his eyes, and 
turn his thoughts right away from the burden and labor of the 
day ; but hardly was this to his comfort. For old memories 
came then and drew their curtains round, and O ! there lurk 
sharp needles in them ; when we touch them they pierce the 
tender skin, draw blood, burn within us, bring tears to our 
eyes ! So at least was it with old Anthony ; oftentimes hot 
tears like the brightest pearls rolled down over the coverlet or 
on the floor ; his eyes seemed to burn with them or their light 
seemed turned into darkness, but still a vivid picture seemed 
before his sight. Then he would wipe his eyes with his night- 
cap, and both tears and pictures vanished ; but the source of 
both remained, it lay deep in his heart. The pictures came 
not in regular order, as they had followed one another in his 
past life, and the most painful ones came oftenest; but these 



3OO STORIES AND TALES. 

even had a brightness and glory of their own, only they cast 
the deepest shadows. 

" How beautiful are the beech woods of Denmark ! " people 
are wont to exclaim. But more beautiful to Anthony were 
the beech woods near Wartburg : mightier, and more venerable, 
than any Danish trees were the old oaks up by the proud 
baronial castle, where creeping plants trailed over the hard 
blocks of stone ; sweeter far was the fragrance of the apple- 
blossoms there than in the Danish land. He felt this strongly* 
bitterly ', a large bright tear trickled forth ; by its light he 
seemed to see two children at play, a boy and a girl. The 
boy had red cheeks, curling yellow hair, and honest blue eyes j 
he was little Anthony, the rich trader's son, himself, in fact. 
The little girl had brown eyes and black hair, and the ex- 
pression of her face was both bold and clever ; she was the 
burgomaster's daughter, Maddalena. The two children were 
playing with an apple, shaking it and listening to the pips 
rattling inside ; then they cut it in half, and between them ate 
it up all but one kernel, which the little girl proposed to put 
into the ground. " Then you will see what will come of it ! 
something you would never fancy, only not directly. A whole 
apple-tree ! think of that." And they planted it in a flower- 
pot, both very zealous in the work, the boy hollowing out a 
bed for it in the mould with his fingers, the little girl laying 
it in, and then both together smoothed the earth over it. 
" You must not take it up again to-morrow to see if it has 
taken root," she said. " One must never do that ! I did so 
with my flowers, but only twice ; I wanted to see if they were 
growing, I did not know any better, and the flowers died." 

The flower-pot was left with Anthony, and he looked at il 
every morning all through the winter, but still saw nothing 
but the black mould. Spring came, the sun shone warmly, 
and now two tiny green leaves peeped forth. " One for r:ie, 
and one for Maddalena," thought Anthony; "that is chaim- 
ing ! " Soon appeared a third leaf who was that for? 
Another followed, and another ; every week, every day, it 
grew bigger and bigger ; the plant became a tree. 

And all this was seen reflected as it were in that singlfl 
bright tear that flowed forth and vanished so soon ; but mora 



THE OLD BACHELOR'S NIGHTCAP. 30! 

tears like this could gush forth from the fountain, even old 
Anthony's heart. 

Near Eisenach stretches a chain of rocky mountains ; one 
of these has a peculiar round form, and is completely bare of 
trees, bushes, or grass ; it is called the Venus Mountain, for 
v/ithin it dwells Lady Venus, a woman-goddess of heathen 
times. Every child in Eisenach knows that Lady Vents, or 
Lad/ Holle for she is known by both names dwells here, 
and that once she allured into her alode that noble knight, 
the Tannenhauser, a " minnesinger " belonging to the min- 
strel-band at Wartburg. 

Anthony and little Maddalena often played near this moun- 
tain, and once she said to him, " Anthony, darest thou knock 
at the mountain and say, ' Lady Venus, Lady Venus, open 1 
Tannenhauser is here ! ' No, Anthony dared not ; Madda- 
lena dared. But only the first few words, " Lady Venus, Lady 
Venus ! " did she speak out boldly and loud, the rest seemed 
to die away on her lips, and Anthony was sure she had not 
really spoken them out. And yet she had her bold look, just 
as she had when sometimes she and other little girls met him 
in the garden and they all wanted to kiss him, because they 
knew he did not like to be kissed. " I will," she would say, 
and Anthony never objected to anything she chose to do. 
She was so pretty, as well as clever and bold. But there are 
different kinds of beauty. Lady Venus in the mountain was 
beautiful, folks said, but it was a wild alluring beauty given by 
the evil spirit ; a very different beauty was that of the holy 
Elizabeth, the pious Thuringian princess, whose deeds of lovr 
and mercy were still remembered by the peasantry around. 
Her picture hung in the chapel, lighted by silver lamps ; she 
was the protecting saint of the country. But Maddalena was 
Dot like her. 

The apple-tree that the children had planted grew year by 
year, so that soon it had to be transplanted i- nto the garden ; 
there the dew fell on it, the sun shone warmly on it, and gave 
it strength to endure the winter. And when winter was past. 
\nd spring had returned, it seemed as though it put forth its 
jlossoms purely from joy, because the cold season was gone. 
And when autumn came, it bore twj apples, one for Madda 
f ena, one for Anthony. 



JO2 STORIES AND TALKS. 

\ 

And Maddalena grew up quickly, like the apple-tree, and 
her face was as bright and fresh as its blossoms j but no; 
much longer might Anthony enjoy the sight of his fairest 
flower. Changes came ; Maddalena and her father left their 
old home for a new one. In our time, by the help of steam, 
the journey might be made in a few hours, but then it took 
more than a whole day and night to get from Eisenach to the 
town which is still called Weimar. When they parted, Mad- 
dalena went as well as Anthony, and she declared she loved 
him better than all the splendors of Weimar. 

One year passed away two, three years passed away : and 
in the course of those three years two letters came from her ; 
the first was brought by the carrier, the second by a traveller ; 
the v/ay was long and tedious, with many windings, past differ- 
ent towns. 

Often had Anthony and Maddalena listened to the old story 
of " Tristram and Isolde," and always, when he heard it, had 
Anthony fancied himself and Maddalena in their case. Only 
the name of Tristram, meaning "one born in sorrow," suited 
not him, he thought, neither would he ever be like Tristram 
in imagining that she whom he loved had forgotten him. 
That was so unjust ! for Isolde never did forget Tristram, 
and when both were dead, and buried on opposite sides of the 
church, the lime-trees that sprang from their graves would 
meet over the church roof, entwining their boughs in flowers 
and sweet odors. That story was so pretty, yet so sad, An- 
thony thought ; but sad should not be his and Maddalena's 
history, and then he would whistle a song by Walter von der 
Vogelweide, the minnesinger. " Under the lime-tree on the 
teath," it began, and the burden was so pretty. 

" Out in the wood, in the quiet dale, 

Tandaradai ! 
Sang so sweetly the nightingale." 

This was his favorite song, and O ! how he sang and 
whistled it all through the bright moonlight night as he rode 
irHng through the deep hollow way, on the road to Weimar, 
to pay a visit to Maddalena. He had not been invited ; he 
cho*e to take her by surprise. 

lia was welcomed with good cheer and good wine, pleasan! 



THE OLD BACHELOR'S NIGHTCAP. 303 

company, a comfortable room and warm bed and yet ;'t was 
not as he had pictured it. He understood neither himself 
nor his friends ; but we can understand it easily ! One can so 
often stay in a family without taking root in it; one talks, as 
one talks in a postchaise ; knows the people, as one can krow 
them on a steamboat ; mutual annoyance increases, one wishes 
either one's self or one's good neighbor right away. Some 
thing of this felt Anthony. 

" I am an honest girl," said Maddalena to him, " and 1 
will tell thee the truth. Many things have changed since the 
time when we were together, a couple of children changed 
both within us and without us. We cannot make our hearts 
keep the same ; it is impossible. Anthony ! I don't want to 
make thee my enemy but soon I shall be far away from 
here. Believe me, I like thee well enough, but love thee, in 
the way I now know I can love another, that I cannot I 
never have loved thee thus ! Thou wilt get reconciled to it. 
Farewell, Anthony ! " 

And Anthony bade her farewell he took his leave with- 
out a tear. The red-hot bar of iron and the frozen bar of 
iron alike bite the skin off our lips, if we kiss it ; Anthony 
felt wild with hate now, as before with love. 

It did not take Anthony anything like the four-and-twenty 
hours to ride home to Eisenach, but the poor horse he rode was 
ruined by his fierce haste. "What matter?" said he : " I am 
ruined, and I will ruin everything that can remind me of her : 
Lady Venus, the false heathen ! As for the apple-tree, I will 
tear it up by the roots ; never shall it bloom or bear fruit again ! 

But the apple-tree was not laid low ; he was himself laid 
low brought to his bed by fever. How should he ever be 
raised up again ? A medicine was sent him, the bitterest 
that could be found, but with power to brace the sick body 
and shrinking spirit. For Anthony's father was now no longer 
the rich merchant. Heavy days of trial stood waiting at the 
door ; misfortune rushed in ; like a flood it streamed upon the 
once rich house. The father was now a poor man ; sorrow 
and anxiety palsied him, and Anthony had soon other thingg 
to think ^i besides love-sorrow and wrath against Maddalena. 
He had to be father and mother boih in the house, to arrange, 
help, work for his bread. 



304 



STORIES AND TALES. 



He went to Bremen, and there endured many dreary dayj 
of hunger and bitterness, and these either harden or soften 
the heart. How different was the world of real men and 
women from the world he had imagined in his childhood ! 
What nov to him were the strains of the minnesingers ? Mere 
moonshine ! So he felt sometimes, but sometimes also the old 
songs he had been wont to love seemed to echo in his soul 
and did him good, made him gentler and more submissive. 
"God's will is best," he would then say within himself. " Good 
was it that our Lord would not suffer Maddalena's heart to cling 
to me, for where would it have ended, now that fortune has 
turned against me ? I am glad she gave me up before she had 
heard of this change. Our Lord has been merciful toward 
me ; all has been for the best, all things are ordered wisely. 
And she could not help herself; I was unjust to feel so bitter 
and wrathful ! " 

Years went on ; Anthony's father was dead, and strangers 
now dwelt in the old house where he was born. Yet Anthony 
was to see his home once more, for his rich master sent him 
on a journey that obliged him to pass through Eisenach. 
Old Wartburg stood unchanged on the rock ; the great oak- 
trees kept their places, the Venus Mountain gleamed gray in 
its barrenness, as of old. These words sprang to Anthony's 
lips : " Lady Venus ! Lady Venus ! open the mountain and 
take me in ! then I shall at least stay in my own land ! " 

It was a sinful thought, and he hastily crossed himself. A 
little bird was singing from a bush close by ; it reminded him 
of the old song, 

"Far in the wood, in the quiet dale, 

Tandaradai ! 
How sweetly sang the nightingale." 

It was through a veil of tears that he now again saw the 
home of his childhood. The house stood exactly as before, 
but the garden had been laid out afresh, and a road now cut 
cross a corner of the old garden-ground, so that the apple- 
tree, which he had never destroyed, now stood outside ths 
inclosure. The sun shone on it, and the dew fell on it, 
as formerly ; it bare rich fruit, and bowed its branches at 
most to the earth. " It thrives 1 " quoth he ; " that's well." 



THE OLD BACHELOR'S NIGHTCAP. 305 

But on closer inspection, he saw that rude hands had broken 
off one of the largest boughs ; the tree stood too near the 
high-road. " They tear off the blossoms, without one word of 
thanks ; the}' steal the fruit and break off the branches j one 
might repeat concerning this tree, as concerning many a 
human being, 

" * At this tree's cradle who could say 
That such would be its fate one day?' 

Its history began so prettily, and now it is forsaken and for- 
gotten, a garden-tree by the high-road ! quite out of place, 
and ill-treated thus ! Well, it will not pine away and die, but 
every year the blossoms will be fewer, and of fruit there will 
soon be none no matter, the history will not be a long 
one ! " 

Such were Anthony's musings under the apple-tree, and very 
similar were his nightly thoughts in the tiny, lonesome chamber 
in the Street of Small Houses, in the foreign Danish land, 
whither his rich master, a merchant of Bremen, had sent him, 
under condition that he was not to marry. " Marry, indeed ! 
ho, ho ! " and he laughed a strange inward laugh. 

The winter came early one year, a sharp frost set in, and a 
violent snow-storm kept every one in-doors who was not 
obliged to go out. Thus it happened that Anthony's neigh- 
bors took no note of his booth having been shut up for two 
whole days. During those two days old Anthony had never 
left his bed ; he had not the strength, and the intense cold had 
benumbed his limbs. All forsaken lay the old bachelor ; he 
could not help himself, he could only just reach the water 
pitcher beside his bed, and now the last drop had been 
exhausted. It was not fever, it was not sickness; it was old 
age that had prostrated him thus. It was almost continual 
night around him, for the days were dark and gray, and 
his window was not like a glass window. A little spidfr> 
unseen, unknown to him, spun contentedly and diligently her 
jeb over him, as though to prepare a little fine new crape for 
feourning, in case the old man's eyes should close in death. 

Long and dreary were the hours ; tears had he none, nei- 
ther had he pain. Maddaiena was no longer in his thoughts , 
he felt that the tumult of the wcrld was past for him, that h 

20 



306 STORIES AND TALES. 

lay somewhere beyond it, that no one thought of him. For a 
while he seemed to feel hunger and thirst O ! that wa? 
painful ! but no one came to help him no one would come. 
He thought on others who had suffered the like ;he remem- 
bered the patron saint of his birthplace, the gentle St. Eliza- 
beth, who, when her people were pining because of the fam- 
ine, went about bringing help and refreshment to the sick. 
He remembered the pious words of hope and trust in God 
thai she had been wont to speak to those poor sufferers ; how 
she had bathed their wounds and brought food to the hungry, 
although her stern husband forbade her with angry words. 
He remembered the legend, how as she glided along with a 
basket well-packed with bread and meat, her husband, who 
was watching her footsteps, suddenly stepped forward and 
asked in wrath, " what it was she carried in her basket ? " 
And she replied in terror : " These are roses I have gathered 
in the garden ; " whereupon he tore back the cloth laid over 
the basket, and lo ! a miracle ! for bread and meat were 
changed into the loveliest roses ! 

Thus lived the gentle Duchess of Thuringia in old Antho- 
ny's thoughts, thus she stood vividly before his failing eye* 
sight, beside his bed in the miserable wooden booth in the 
strangers' land. He uncovered his head, looked into her 
kind eyes, and all around him sprang up a bower of sweet 
roses, so fair to look on, and so fragrant ! And now he was 
conscious of another, a different perfume ; a flowering apple- 
tree stood before him, the same that he and little Maddalena 
had planted. 

And the tree drooped its fragrant petals upon his hot fore- 
head, and their touch cooled it ; they fell upon his thirsting lips, 
and seemed to strengthen him like wine ; they drooped upon 
his breast, and he felt so much easier. 

" Now I shall fall asleep," said he to himself. " Sleep will 
4o me so much good, I shall get up to-morrow all right again. 
U, how beautiful ! The apple-tree planted in love ! I see it 
now in glory ! " And he fell asleep. 

The next day it was the third day that his booth had 
been shut up the snow ceased, and old Anthony's opposite 
aeighbor came to look after him. There he lay, stretched out 



THE OLD BACHELOR'S NIGHTCAt . 307 

dead, holding his old nightcap between his clasped hands 
But another was found laid by, white and clean> ready fcr hire 
to wear in his coffin. 

And where were now the tears he had shed ! where weis 
the pearls ? They were left in his nightcap the genuine onei 
do not get lost in the washing with the cap they remained ] 
the old thoughts, the old dreams, all were left in the old 
bachelor's nightcap. Never wish such a one for thyself 1 it 
will make thy forehead too hot, thy pulse to beat too fast, 
will bring dreams as vivid as reality. This was experienced 
by the burgomaster, who, fifty years after old Anthony's death, 
ckanced to put his nightcap on ; he was a comfortable, well- 
to-do man, with a wife and eleven children ; nevertheless, he 
dreamt straightway of unrequited love, banlr ruptcy, and hard 
fare. 

" Ugh ! how hot this nightcap makes one I " he exclaimed, 
and tore it off. One pearl after another trickled down and 
glittered before his eyes. "I must be ill!" declared the 
burgomaster ; " my eyes feel quite dazzled ! Can this be gout, 
I wonder? " 

He knew not that what he saw were tears, shed half a year 
hundred years ago, shed by old Anthony of Eisenach. 

As for the visions and dreams of those several unhappy 

ones who have worn the nightcap since, we will leave others 

o tell the tale, or rather the tales, for there must be many of 

Liem ; we have now told the first, and with these words we 

conclude : Never A* ish for thyself the old bachelor's night- 



LUCK MAY LIE IN A PIN. 

NOW I am going to tell a story about Luck. All of ui 
are acquainted with Luck : there are those that see he: 
all the time, some only at certain times of the year, otheis only 
one single day, yes, there are even people that only see 
Luck once in their life-time ; but all of us do see her. 

I suppose I need not tell you that when our Lord sends a 
little child here, He lays it in a mother's lap : this may hap- 
pen in a rich man's castle, or in a workingman's nicely ordered 
room ; but then it may happen instead in an open market- 
place, where the cold wind blows. But what not every one of 
you does know, and yet is really true, is that our Lord, when 
He places a child here, also sends along with it its good Luck, 
which, however, is never placed near by, but is hidden in some 
spot on our globe, where we look for it least ; yet it is always 
found at last, and that is a comfort. 

Luck once was placed in an apple ; that was for a man 
whose name was Newton. The apple fell, and thus he found 
his Luck. If you do not know that story, ask some one to 
tell it to you. We have another story to tell a story about 
a pear. 

There once lived a poor man, who was born poor, and had 
grown up poor, and was poor when he married. He was a 
.urner by trade, and used to turn umbrella-handles and um- 
brella-rings, but he only earned enough money by this to live 
from hand to mouth. 

" I shall never find my Luck," said he. 

Now this is a true story, which really happened. I could teli 
th^ name of the country and the place where the man lived, but 
that is of no consequence. The red and sour mountain-ash 
berries blossomed and ripened around his house and in his 
garden, as if they were the choicest fruit, and in the garden 
stood also a pear-tree, but it never had borne a pear, and yet 
here Luck was placed in an invisible pear. 



LUCK MAY LIE IN A PIN. 309 

One night the wind blew terribly. In Avize, nier said the 
great Dillig boulder was lifted up from the side of the road, 
and thrown down like a lump of clay, and so it was not at all 
wonderful that a big branch should have been broken from the 
pear-tree. The branch was taken into the workshop, and the 
man turned out of it, just for fun, a big pear, and another big 
pear, then a smaller pear, and then several very small pears. 

" The tree shal. bear pears once at least," he said, and gave 
them to the children to play with. 

There are some things that are necessities in life, and among 
these, most certainly in wet countries, are umbrellas. Now 
the whole family had only one for general use. When the 
wind blew very hard, the umbrella would turn over, and some- 
times it would break ; but the man quickly mended it again, 
that was in his trade. With the button and string that kept 
the umbrella together, it went worse ; it would always break 
too soon, just as one was folding the umbrella up. 

One day, when the button had broken again, and the man 
hunted in vain for it on the floor, he happened to get hold of 
one of the smallest pears which he had turned, and had given 
to the children to play with. 

"I cannot find the button," said the man, "but this little 
thing will answer." He pulled a small cord through it, and 
the little pear filled the place of the broken button beautifully ; 
it was exactly right, and formed the best of fasteners. The 
next time that he had to send umbrella handles and rings to 
tne capital, he added to the number a few of the small wooden 
pears which he had turned. They were fastened to a few new 
umbrellas, which were sent with a thousand others to America. 
They have a quick understanding there of what is of use. The 
little pear was soon found to hold best, and the umbrella mer- 
chant gave orders, that all the umbrellas to be sent to him 
alter that should be fastened with a little wooden pear. Large 
orders were to be supplied , thousands of pears to be made \ 
wooden pears on all umbrellas, and our man was kept busy at 
work. He turned and turned ; the whole pear-tree was used 
for little wooden pears, which brought shillings that grew into 
dollars. 

"In that pear-tree my Luck was placed, said the man \ and 



310 STORIES AND TALES. 

soon after he had a great workshop, with plenty of women and 
boys to help him. Now he was all the lime in good humor, 
and often used to say, " Luck may lie in a pin." 

So also says he who tells the story ; and you should know 
that it is true, and is a proverb in Denmark, that if you put a 
white pin in your mouth, you will be invisible ; but it must be 
the right sort of a pin, one given by our Lord. I have had 
one of them ; and whenever I come to America, the land of 
the New World, which is so far off, and yet so near me, I shall 
always carry that pin with me. I can send my greeting over 
in a few minutes ; the ocean rolls over to its shores, there the 
wind blows ; any day I can be there when my stories are read, 
and perhaps see the glittering gold receive the ringing gold, 
the gold that is best of all, which shines in the eyes of chil- 
dren, and comes ringing from their lips, and the lips of their 
parents. I am in the very room with my friends, and yet I 
mm invisible. I have the white pin in my mouth. 

Yes, Luck may lie in a pin. 



" SOMETHING." 

I WILL be Something," declared the eldest of five brothtrs j 
" I will be of use in the world ; be it ever so humble a 
position that I may hold, let me be but useful, and that will 
be Something. I will make bricks ; folk cannot do without 
them, so I shall at least do something." 

" Something very little, though," replied the second brother. 
" Why, it is as good as nothing ! it is work that might be done 
by a machine. Better be a mason, as I intend to be. Then 
one belongs to a guild, becomes a citizen, has a banner of 
one's own. Nay, if all things go well, I may become a master, 
and have apprentices and workmen under me. That will be 
Something ! " 

" It will be nothing at all then, I can tell you that ! " re- 
joined the third. " Think how many different ranks there are 
in a town far above that of a master-mason. You may be an 
honest sort of a man, but you will never be a gentleman ; gen- 
tle and simple ; those are the two grand divisions, and you will 
always be one of the 'simple.' Well, I know better than 
that. I will be an architect ; I will be one of the thinkers, 
the artists ; I will raise myself to the aristocracy of intellect 
1 may have to begin from the very lowest grade ; I may begin 
as a carpenter's boy, and run about with a paper-cap on my 
head, to fetch ale for the workmen ; I may not enjoy it, but I 
shall try to imagine it is only a masquerade. ' To-morrow,' I 
shall say, ' I will go my own way, and others shall not come 
ear me.' Yes, I shall go to the Academy, learn to draw, and 
be called an architect. That will be Something ! I may ge 
a title, perhaps ; and I shall build and build., as others befort 
me have done. Yes, that will be Something ! " 

" But it is Something that I care nothing about," said the 
fourth. " I should not rare to go on, on, in the beaten track, 
10 be a mere copyist ; I will be a genius, cleverer than all of 



12 STORIES AND TALES. 

you put together ; I will create a new style, provide ideas foi 
buildings suited to the climate and materials of our country, 
suited to our national character, and the requirements of the 
age." 

" But supposing the climate and the materials don't agree?' 
suggested the fifth, " how will you get on then, if they won f 
cooperate ? As for our national character, to be following out 
that in architecture will be sheer affectation, and the requiia- 
ments of modern civilization will drive you perfectly mad. I 
see you will none of you ever be anything, though of course 
you won't believe me. But do as you please, I shall not be 
like you. I shall reason over what you execute ; there is 
something ridiculous in everything ; I shall find it out, show 
you your faults that will be Something ! ' ; 

And he kept his word ; and folk said of this fifth brother, 
" There is something in him, certainly ; he has plenty of brains J 
but he does nothing." But he was content, he was Something. 

But what became of the five brothers? We will hear the 
whole. 

The eldest brother, the brick-maker, found that every brick 
ae turned out whole yielded him a tiny copper coin only 
copper but a great many of these small coins, added to- 
gether, could be converted into a bright silver dollar, and 
through the power of this, wheresoever he knocked, whether 
at baker's, butcher's, or tailor's, the door flew open, and he 
received what he wanted. Such was the virtue of his bricks ; 
some, of course, got broken before they were finished, bur a 
use was found even for these. For up by the trench would 
pooi Mother Margaret fain build herself a little house, if she 
might ; she took all the broken bricks, aye, and she got a few 
whole ones besides, for a good heart had the eldest brother, 
though only a brick-maker. The poor thing built her house 
with her own hands ; it was very narrow, its one window was 
all on one side, the door was too low, and the thatch on the 
roof might have been laid on better, but it gave her shelter 
and a home, and could be seen far over the sea, which some- 
times burst over the trench in its might, and sprinkled a salt 
snower over the littie house, which kept its plaoe there year* 
after he who made the bricks was dead and gone. 



SOME THING." 313 

As for the second brother, he learned to build after anothei 
fashion, as he had resolved. When he was out of his appren- 
ticeship, he buckled on his knapsack, and started, singing as 
he went, on his travels. He came home again, and became a 
master in his native town ; he built, house after house, a whole 
street of houses ; there they stood, looked well, and were a 
credit to the town j and these houses soon built him a liu\e 
house for himself. How? Ask the houses, and they will give 
you no answer ; but the people will answer you and say, " Why, 
of course, the street built him his house ! ' It was small 
enough, and had only a clay floor, but when he and his onde 
danced over it, the floor grew as smooth as if it had been 
polished, and from every stone in the wall sprung a flower, that 
looked as gay as the costliest tapestry. It was a pretty house 
and a happy wedded pair. The banner of the Masons' Guild 
waved outside, and workmen and apprentices shouted " Hur- 
ra ! " Yes, that was Something ! and at last he died that, 
too, was Something ! 

Next comes the architect, the third brother. He began an 
a carpenter's apprentice, and ran about the town on errands, 
wearing a paper-cap ; but he studied industriously at the 
Academy, and rose steadily upward. If the street full of 
houses had built a house for^his brother the mason, the street 
took its name from the architect ; the handsomest house in 
the whole street was his that was Something, and he was 
Something ! His children were gentlemen, and could boast 
of their " birth ; " and when he died, his widow was a widow of 
condition that is Something and his name stood on the 
corner of the street, and was in everybody's lips that is 
Something, too ! 

Now for the genius, the fourth brother, who wanted to in- 
\tnt something new, something original. Somehow, the ground 
gave way beneath his feet ; he fell and broke his neck. But 
he had a splendid funeral, with music and banners, and flowery 
paragraphs in the newspapers , and three eulogiums were pro- 
nounced over him, each longer than the last, and this would 
have pleased him mightily, for he loved speechifying of all 
tnings. A monument was eiected over his grave, only one 
tory high but that is Something i 



STORIES AND TALES. 

So now he was dead, as well as his three eldei brothers . 
the youngest, the critic, outlived them all, and that was as it 
should be, for thus he had the last word, which to him was a 
matter of the greatest importance. " He had plenty of brains," 
folk said. Now his hour had struck, he died, and his soul 
sought the gates of heaven. There it stood side by side with 
another soul old Mother Margaret from the trenches. 

" It is for the sake of contrast, I suppose, that I and this 
miserable soul should wait here together," thought the critic. 
"Well now, who are you, my good woman ? " he inquired. 

And the old woman replied, with as much respect as though 
St. Peter himself were addressing her, in fact, she took him 
for St. Peter, he gave himself such grand airs, "I am a poor 
old soul, I have no family, I am only old Margaret from the 
house near the trenches." 

" Well, and what have you done down below ? " 

" I have done as good as nothing in the world ! nothing 
whatever ! It will be mercy, indeed, if such as I am suffered 
to pass through this gate." 

" And how did you leave the world ? " inquired the critic, 
carelessly. He must talk about something ; it wearied him 
to stand there, waiting. 

"Well, I can hardly tell how I. left it; I have been sickly 
enough during these last few years, and could not well bear 
to creep out of bed at all during the cold weather. It has 
been a severe winter, but now that is all past. For a few days, 
as your highness must know, the wind was quite still, but it 
was bitterly cold ; the ice lay over the water as far as one could 
see. All the people in the town were out on the ice ; there 
was dancing, and music, and feasting, and sledge-racing, I 
fancy ; I could hear something of it all as I lay in my poor 
little chamber. And when it was getting toward evening, the 
moon was up, but was not yet very bright : I looked from my 
bed through the window, and I saw how there "ose up over 
the sea a strange white cloud ; I lay and watched it, watched 
the black dot in it, which grew bigger and bigger, and then J 
knew what it foreboded ; that sign is not often seen, but I anj 
old and experienced. I knew it, and I shivered with horror 
Twice before in my life have I seen that sign, and I knew thai 



"SOMETHING: 



3*5 



there would be a terrible storm and a spring flood ; it would 
burst over the poor things on the ice, who were drinking, and 
dancing, and merry-making. Young and old, the whole town 
was out on the ice ; who was to warn them, if no one saw it, or 
no one knew what I knew ? I felt so terrified, I felt ail alive, as 
I had not felt for years ! I got out of bed, forced tne window 
open ; I could see the folk running and dancing over the ice j 
I could see the gay-colored flags, I could hear the boys shout 
1 Hurra ! ' and the girls and lads a-singing. All were so 
merry ; and all the time the white cloud with its black speck 
rose higher and higher ! I screamed as loud as I could ; but 
no one heard me, I was too far off. Soon would the storm 
break loose, the ice would break in pieces, and all that crowd 
would sink and drown. Hear me they could not ; get out to 
them I could not ; what was to be done ? Then our Lord 
sent me a good thought ; I could set fire to my bed ; better 
let my house be burnt to the ground, than that so many should 
miserably perish. So I kindled a light ; I saw the red flame 
mount up ; I got out at the door, but then I fell down ; I lay 
there, I could not get up again. But the flames burst out 
through the window and over the roof; they saw it down be- 
low, and they all ran as fast as they could to help me ; the 
poor old crone they believed would be burnt ; there was not 
one who did not come to help me. I heard them come, and J 
heard, too, such a rustling in the air, and then a thundering as 
of heavy cannon-shots, for the spring-flood was loosening the 
ice, and it all broke up. But the folk were all come off it to 
the trenches, where the sparks were flying about me ; I had 
them all safe. But I could not bear the cold and the fright, 
and that is how I have come up here. Can the gates of 
heaven be opened to such a poor old creature as I ? I have 
no house now at the trenches ; where can I go, if they refuse 
me here ? " 

Then the gates opened, and the Angel bade poor Margaret 
enter. As she passed the threshold, she dropped a blade of 
Straw straw from her bed that bed which she had set 
alight to save the people on the ice, and lo ! it had changed 
Into gold ! dazzling gold ! yet flexible withal, and twisting into 
various forms. 



Jl6 STORIES AND TALES. 

" Look, that was what yonder poor woman brought," said 
the Angel. "But what dost thou bring? Truly, I know well 
that thou hast done nothing, not even made bricks. It is a 
pity thou canst not go back again tc fetch at least one brick 
not that it is good for anything when it is made, no, but 
because anything, the very least, done with a good-will, is 
Something. But thou mayst not go back, and I can do noth- 
ing for thee." 

Then poor Margaret pleaded for him thus : " His brother 
gave me all the bricks and broken bits wherewith I built my 
poor little house that was a great kindness toward a poor old 
soul like me ! May not all those bits and fragments, put to- 
gether, be reckoned as one brick for him ? It will be an act 
of mercy ; he needs it, and this is the home of mercy." 

" To thy brother, whom thou didst despise," said the Angel, 
" to him whose calling, in respect of worldly honor, was the 
lowest, shalt thou owe this mite of heavenly coin. Thou shalt 
not be sent away ; thou shalt have leave to stand here with- 
out, and think over thv manner of life down below. But within 

* 

thou canst not enter, until thou hast done something that is 
good Something ! " 

" I fancy I could have expressed that better," thought the 
critic ; but he did not say it aloud, and that was already 
Something 1 



WIND'S TALE 

CONCERNING WALDEMAR DAAE AND HIS DAUGHTERS. 

WHEN the wind passes over the grass, the grass ripplei 
like a lake ; when it passes over the corn, the com 
curls into waves like the sea ; this is the wind's dance. But 
the Wind can do more than this ; only listen to his loud chant 
amid the trees of the wood, to his shrill wail amid the crannies, 
crevices, and sounding holes of old walls ; watch how he 
chases the white fleecy clouds like a flock of sheep across the 
sky ; mark how he howls through the open portal, as though 
he were the warder blowing his horn. Then again, how won- 
drously he whistles through the chimney ; the fire in the hearth 
beneath flames up and blazes, and it is right pleasant and 
comfortable to sit in the chamber warmed by its bright glow 
and listen to stories. Let the Wind be the story-teller ; he 
knows more wonderful tales and histories than all of us put 
together. Now he begins ; " Whew, whew, whew ! on, on, on ! " 
such is the burden of his song. 

"Near the Great Belt" so begins the Wind "there 
stands an old mansion with thick red walls. I know every 
stone ot it ; I knew those stones of old time when they sat in 
Marshal Stig's castle on the promontory ; they had to come 
down thence, but they were built up again to form a new wall, 
a new mansion even Borreby Hall as it stands to this day. 
1 have seen and known all the high-born men and women of 
different families who have dwelt therein. To-night my tale Js 
of Waldemar Daae and his daughters. 

" He walked so erect, he was of royal race ! he knew more 
than how to hunt the stag and empty a flagon ; he was a man 
of science. His lady-wife trod daintily in a kirtle of cloth-of- 
gold over her floors of polished mosaic. Splendid carpets, 
costly furniture, cunningly carved, surrounded her ; silver and 



31 8 S TORIES AND TALES. 

gold both had she brought into the house ; the cellars wera 
full ; proud black horses neighed in the stables ; Borreby 
Hall was then the abode of wealth. There were three chil- 
dren, three fair maidens I still remember their names 
Ida, Joanna, and Anna Dorothea. These were rich folk, 
grand folk, born and lapped in luxury. Whew, whew, whew 
on, on, on ! " whistled the Wind, ara then he continued his 
tale. 

:! Here I saw not, as in other old mansions, the high-ben, 
mistress sitting in the great hall turning the spinning-wheel 
among her maidens. No, her fingers flew over the lute-strings, 
and her voice sang not often the good old Danish songs, but 
ditties in divers tongues from other lands. Here all was life 
and gayety, guests came from far and wide, the voices of music 
and revelry were so loud I could not drown them," quoth the 
Wind. " Here was pride, boasting, and bragging, not our 
Lord's blessing. 

" I remember once on the eve of May-day I came from the: 
west ; I had seen ships wrecked on the coast of West Jutland, 
I had hunted across the heath and the wooded shore over to 
Fiinen, and now passed raving and roaring over the Great Belt. 
I lay down to rest on the coast of Zealand, close by Borreby 
Hall, where the beautiful oak forest still grew. The young 
lads of the neighborhood came out to collect boughs and 
twigs, the biggest and driest they could find ; they carried 
them into the town, laid them in heaps, set fire to them, and 
youths and maidens danced round, singing the while. I lay 
very still ; just softly I touched one bough that had been 
thrown down by the handsomest lad among them ; forthwith, 
his heap of wood blazed up the highest of all ; thus he be- 
came the leader, the chosen bachelor, and he won the privi- 
lege of choosing first out of all the young girls one to be his 
own little May-lamb. It was so merry among those simple 
folks ! so much happier were they than the great people in 
IJorreby Hall. And then came driving toward the hall, in a 
gilt carriage with six horses, the noble lady herself and he\ 
three daughters so fair, so young, three sweet blossoms, the 
rose, the lily, and the pale hyacinth. Their mother was like a 
solendid tulip ; she bestowed not me word of greeting upoo 



THE WIND'S TALE. 319 

the peasants, who broke off their game and bowed and cour 
tesied around her ; stiff like a tulip she held herself. Rose, 
lily, and pale hyacinth, I saw them all three ; whose May- 
lambs should they be? I wondered. Their bachelors would 
surely be proud knights, perhaps princes. Whew, \hew, 
whew ! on, on, on ! 

" Well, the carriage rattled past and the peasants resumed 
their dance. But that same night, when I rose up from rest," 
quoth the Wind, " that high-born lady had laid herself down 
never to rise again ; that had come to her which comes to all 
mortals. Grave and thoughtful stood Waldemar Daae ; ' the 
proudest tree may be bowed, but not broken,' that seemed his 
feeling. The daughters wept, as Fru Daae was borne hence, 
and I passed hence. Whew, whew, whew ! ' : whistled the 
Wind. 



" I came again, I often came again across Fiinen and the 
waters of the Belt, and rested at Borreby in the shelter of the 
beautiful oak wood. Here ospreys, wood- pigeons, ravens, and 
even the black storks, 1 build their nests ; it was early in the 
year, some had eggs, and some had young ones. But O, what 
a flying and crying among them all ! for the axe was heard, 
stroke after stroke, the trees were being laid low. Waldemar 
Daae had it in his mind to build a ship, a man-of-war with 
three decks, such as the king iVould buy, and therefore the 
wood must fall, the birds lose their homes. The great shrike 
flew away in terror, for his nest was brought low ; the osprey 
and many another bird wheeled round and round, screaming 
And screeching in their wrath and their agony ; I understood 
them well enough. And crows and jackdaws shrieked in 
aockery, ' Caw, caw ! all forlorn ! gone and torn ! caw, caw ! ' 

" In the middle of the wood amid the flock of work-people 
stood Waldemar Daae and his three daughters. They were 
laughing at the wild cries of the birds, all but the youngest, 
Anna Dorothea ; she was tender-hearted , and when a very old 
tree, on whose bare boughs a black stork had his nest, was to 
be felled, it grieved her so much to see the poor helpless young 

1 The black stork, unlike hi* sociable relatives, shuns the abodes of men, 
tnd dwells in woods. 



32O STOKIZS AND TALEb. 

ones putting their heads out, that she begged with tears in her 
eyes that this one tree might be spared. So it was left for the 
black stork ; that was but a trifle. 

" There was hewing and sawing, and at last the three- 
decked ship was built. The ship-builder was a fine looking 
ellovv, though of mean birth ; his eyes sparkled with life and 
hu forehead worked with thought. Waldemar Daae liked 
well to hear him talk, and so did little Ida, his eldest daugh- 
ter, now fifteen years old. And whilst he built the ship for 
her father he built many an aery castle besides, wherein he 
and little Ida sat as man and wife, which might have come to 
pass had the castle been of walled stone, with rampart and 
moat, garden and pleasure-ground. But with all his cleverness, 
:he builder was only a poor bird, and what had a sparrow to 
do among a flock of cranes ? Whew, whew, whew ! I flew 
away, and he flew away, and little Ida forgot it, as forget she 
must. 



" In the stable neighed the beautiful black horses. The 
admiral sent by the king to inspect the new ship-of-war was 
full of admiration for these glorious creatures. I heard all he 
said," quoth the Wind. " I followed the gentlemen through 
the open door and scattered blades of straw about their feet, 
yellow like gold. Gold 1 that was what Waldemar Daae 
wanted, and the admiral wanted the black horses he praised 
so highly ; but their talking came to nought, the horses were 
not bought, neither was the ship ; it was left on the shore, a 
Noah's ark, never to float on the water. Whew, whew, whew 1 
it was a pity ! 

" In winter time when the fields were covered with snow, and 
drifts of ice choked up the Belt," continued the Wind, " there 
came ravens and crows, whole flocks of the black creatures, 
and they perched about on the solitary ship standing empty 
on the strand, and screamed hoarse tales about the oak 
wood that had been cut down, about the numberless happy 
aests that had been destroyed, the frantic old birds and 
homeless young ones, and all for the sake of this great piece 
of useless lumber, the immense vessel that was never to sai< 
opon the sea. And I tossed and whirled the snow till it 



THE WIND'S TALE. 32! 

ay thxkiy arou .id it and over it ; I made it heai my voice, I 
taught it all that a storm has to say ; I know I did my part as 
to teaching it a ship's experience of life. Whew, whew, whew 
on, on, on ! 

" And winter passed away, summer passed away, as they 
pass away still, as the snow melts, as the leaf drifts, as the 
apple-blossom fades, away, away, away ! 

" But still the daughters were young. Little Ida was a 
blooming rose still, as when the ship-builder had seen her, 
Often did I take hold of her long brown hair, as she stood 
thoughtfully beside the apple-tree in the garden, never heed- 
ing that I shook the delicate petals down upon her loose curls, 
looking at the red sunset and the streak of golden sky behind 
the dark bushes and trees. Her sister Joanna was like a lily, 
white and slender, tall and straight, stiff upon her stalk like 
her mother. She loved to linger in the great hall, where hung 
the portraits of their ancestors, ladies clad in silk and velvet, 
tiny hats embroidered with pearls set upon their braided hair ; 
beautiful ladies, those ! while their husbands were seen cased 
in steel, or wearing rich mantles lined with squirrel fur, and 
stiff ruffs, their swords fastened to their thighs not round 
the waist. I could see that Joanna often fancied how her own 
and her husband's portrait would look on those same walls. 
I found that out as I careered through the long gallery into 
the hall and turned round again. Anna Dorothea, the pale 
hyacinth, still a child of fourteen, was very silent and quiet ; 
her large blue eyes were full of thought, the childish smile still 
lingered on her lips ; I could not, and I would not, have 
^lown it away. I met her in the garden, in the hollow, and 
on the high hills, gathering flowers and herbs, such as she 
knew her father mignt use in the wondrous potions and mix- 
lures he was wont to prepare. For Waldemar Daae, though 
such a haughty noble, was also skilled in many an art unknown 
to the multitude. Fire burned in his study hearth summer 
as well as winter, his chamber door was always locked, he 
worked night and day, never speaking of his labors ; for he 
knew that the secrets of nature must be wooed in secret, and 
he sought the mightiest most hidden secret of all how to 
pi educe gold red gold. 

21 



3 22 



STORIES AND TALES. 



" I knew, I was there," sang the Wind ; " I whistled through 
the chimney while all that blazing and burning and refining 
was going on. What came of it ? Dust and smoke ; cinders 
and ashes ! Whew, whew, whew ! 

"Those magnificent horses what had become of them? 
The old gold and silver vessels, the cattle in the meadows 
where were thev 20 ne ? Whv. all these could melt melt in 

^ o ^ 

the crucible and yet no gold might come of it. Barn and 
granary, cellar and pantry, now were empty ; the house hell 
fewer folk, more mice. One pane broke, another cracked , I 
had no need to go round by the door in order to enter," quoth 
the Wind ; " the chimney smoked, indeed, but not for cooking 
dinner, only for cooking the red gold. 

" I blew through the portal, like the warder blowing his 
horn," continued the Wind ; " but warder here there was none ; 
I turned the weather-cock round and round. Rats and mice 
peopled the hall ; poverty covered the table ; poverty filled 
wardrobe and larder ; the doors came ofT their hinges ; chinks 
and crevices were there in plenty ; I went in and went out at 
my own pleasure. 

" Amid smoke and ashes, sorrow and sleeplessness, Walde- 
mar's hair and beard turned gray, his skin grew thick and yel- 
lowish, his eyes so greedy after gold the long-expected 
gold! 

" I puffed dust and smoke into his face, into his beard. I 
whistled through the broken panes and crevices, blew into his 
daughters' beds, under their threadbare clothing. Such a 
song as this was never sung at their cradles, poor dears ! but 
save myself, no one now sang any song at all in the old hall ; " 
quoth the Wind. " I snowed them in ; other folk might have 
called it good fun ; but they, they had no fire-wood ; the oaks, 
whence they had been wont to fetch it, were all felled. There 
came a sharp frost ; I sprang through peep-holes and passages, 
over walls and gables, to keep myself nimble ; the nobly 
born damsels lay in bed for the cold, their father crept undei 
i covering of skins. Noth ng to eat^ nothing to burn ' 

" A lesson hard had they to learn ! 

" Whew, whew, whew ! Bat Waldemar Daae could not learn 
' After winter follows spring,' quoth he ; * after trouble come* 



THE WIND'S TALE. 



323 



the good time ; only we must wait, wait ! Now is the worst, but 
by Easter we must have gold.' And then I saw him watch th* 
spider at work, and heard him mutter, ' Good , diligent little 
weaver, thou teachest me to persevere. Thy web may be 
broker^ but thou beginnest afresh ; again it is torn asunder ' 
no matter, undismayed thou returnest again and again to \hj 
work, and thou art rewarded at last ! ): 

' Easter morning came, the bells were ringing, the sun 
shone. In feverish heat he had awaked ; he had boiled and 
seethed, distilled and mingled. I heard him sighing like a 
lost soul, I heard him pray, I felt that he held his breath. 
The lamp had gone out of that he took no heed ; I blew 
up the coals into a flame ; it shone upon his face, which was 
white as chalk, it lighted up those hollow eyes. But all at 
once those hollow eyes dilated and sparkled. Behold, the 
alchemistic glass ! it glitters, glowing, pure, and heavy ; he 
lifted it with trembling hand, he cried with faltering tongue, 
' Gold, gold ! ' He turned dizzy ; I could have blown him 
down where he stood, but I only blew upon the live coals, and 
followed him through the door into his daughters' sleeping- 
room, where they lay shivering in bed. Ashes clung to his 
beard, hung about his dress, and lay amid his matted hair 
He stood so erect, lifted on high his treasure in the frail glass, 
1 Found, found ! gold ! ' he cried, and his glass glistened in the 
sunbeams as he held it aloft, when, lo ! his hand shook, and 
the alchemist's glass fell to the floor, and shivered into a thou- 
sand fragments ! His last bubble had burst ! Whew, whew, 
whew ! On, on, on ! and I went on, away from the alchemist's 
home. 

" Late in the year, in the short days, when the mist comes 
and flings wet drops upon the red berries and leafless boughs, 
I came back in a brisk humor, swept the heavens clean, and 
oroke off the rotten boughs ; that is no great labor, certainly, 
but it has to be done. And there was, meantime, sweeping 
out and dealing out after another fashion in Borreby Hall, 
For Waldemar Daae's old enemy. Ove Ramel, was now to be 
lord and master in his old home. I drummed upon the broken 
Danes, beat againsf the ruined doors, whistled through creeks 
chinks ; Master Ove should not find it pleasant when h? 



324 STORIES AND TALES. 

came. Ida and Anna Dorothea wept quietly; Joanna stood 
pale and stately, and bit her finger till it bled ; but that did no 
good. Ove Ramel graciously offered that Herre Daac should 
remain in the hall during his life-time, but he got no thanks for 
the proposal. I listened, and I marked how the homeless no- 
bleman reared his head more haughtily than ever. I went out 
and flung a bit of the roof upon the old lime-trees, and broke 
the thickest bough among them, and it was not a rotten one 
either j there it lay at the gate, like a broom for sweeping out 
and sweeping out there was with a vengeance. But I had 
expected it. 

" O, that was a day of bitterness a heavy day ! But the 
neck was stiff, and the back was stout ; the proud man bore 
his burden bravely. 

" Nought had they left save the very clothes they wore, and 
the newly-bought alchemistic glass, filled with the brittle treas- 
ure that had promised so fairly the delusive gold scraped 
up from the floor ; this Waldemar Daae hid within his breast. 
He took his cap in his hand, and the once rich, gay gentleman, 
passed with his three daughters out of Borreby Hall. I blew 
cold upon his hot cheeks, I flapped his gray beard and long 
white hair to and fro, I sang, as loud as I could, Whew, whew, 
whew ! Here was an end of his glory. Ida and Anna Doro- 
thea walked one on each side of him ; Joanna turned back as 
she crossed the portal ; perhaps, as she gazed so wistfully at 
the red stones that had once girt Marshal Stig's castle, she 
remembered the old ballad of ' Marshal Stig's Daughters,' 

" 'The elder took the younger by the hand, 
And forth they passed into a foreign land.' 

" But here the daughters were three, and their father wag 
with them, and they were not going far. They turned aside 
*rom the high-road, where they had been wont to drive in their 
carriage, and bent their steps to Smidstrup Field, to a littls 
mud cottage that they had hired for ten marks a year. This 
was thevr new home, with its bare walls and empty chambers- 
Crows and jackdaws flew over their heads, and screamed, as 
f in mockery, ' Gone and torn ! all forlorn ! caw, caw ! ' as 
they had screamed in Borrebv Wood when the oaks wer 



T3E WIND'S TALE. 335 

felled. Horre Da?.e and his daughters must have understood, 
but it was not a pleasant song to hear so I blew about their 
ears and did my best to drcwn it. 

" And so they passed into the mud cottage on Smidstrup 
Field, and I passed away over field and furrow, bare hedges 
and leafless woods ; away, away, over open waters, to distart 
lands whew, whew, whew ! Farewell, farewell ! " 



And how did it fare with Waldemar Daae and his daugh- 
ters ? The Wind will tell us if we listen. 

" The last time I went to look in at them I found only one ; 
it was Anna Dorothea, the pale hyacinth ; she was then old 
and bowed ; fifty years had elapsed since she had left Borreby 
Hall ; she outlived her sisters. 

" Across the heath, near the town of Viborg, stood the 
dean's handsome new house, with its red stones and pointed 
gables, and its chimneys always smoking. The gentle lady 
and her fair daughters were looking out from the balcony 
across the garden and the brown heath beyond ; looking a_ 
what ? Looking at the stork's nest on yonder half-ruined 
cottage. Houseleek an-d moss, they made up most of the 
roof; but the hovel had some shelter afforded it by the stork's 
nest, which, of course, the stork was careful to keep in good 
repair. 

" It was a house to look at, not to touch," quoth the Wind , 
" I had to pass by it very softly. For the sake of the stork's 
nest that hut got leave to stay there ; it was certainly no credit 
to the heath. The dean would not drive away the stork, so 
the poor old maid had permission to stay and shelter herself 
as best she could ; for that she might thank the quaint Egyp- 
tian bird ; or was it because she had, years ago, pleaded for 
the nest of his wild black brother in Borreby Wood ? At that 
time she was a happy child, a delicate pale hyacinth in the 
garden of her ancestral home. She remembered it well ; Anna 
Dorothea forgot nothing. 

" ' Alas ! ' she sighed for human beings can sigh almost 
.s sadly as I myself sigh amongst reeds and rushes ' alas I 
no bells were rung at thy funeral, Waldemar Daae ! no bandi 
af school children sang psalms when Borreby's rightful mas 



326 STORIES A AD TALES. 

tor was laid in the earth ! How everything comes to an end 
jes, misery as well as greatness, thank Heaven ! That my 
sister Ida should become a peasant's wife, that grieved my 
father worst of all. But now he is at peace in the grave, and 
thou art with him, Ida ! O yes, it is well with them both a* 
last. But I am left alone, old, and poor, and weak ; my Savioufj 
do not Thou forsake me ! supply my need, my wretchedness, 
out of thine abundance ! make this world's riddles clear to 
meT 

" Such was Anna Dorothea's prayer in the miserable mud 
hovel that was suffered to stand for the stork's sake. 

" The boldest, most resolute spirit among the three sisters, I 
carried off myself," quoth the Wind. 

" ' She cut her clothes below her knee, 
And as a lad she went to sea.' 

" She bore herself as a sailor-boy, and took wages from the 
captain of a ship ; she was sparing of speech, sour of mien, 
quick at work, only she could not climb the mast. And so I 
blew her overboard, before any one found out that she was 3 
woman ; and I think that was well done ! " declared the Wind. 



"It was an Easter morning bright as the morning when 
Waldemar Daae believed he had found the red gold. Under 
the stork's nest, among those tumble-down walls, I heard a 
faint voice chanting a psalm. It was Anna Dorothea's last 
hymn. 

" There was no glass window, only a hole in the wall ; the 
Sun set himself therein, like a lump of gold, and as she gazed 
on his brightness her heart broke, her eyes grew fixed. The 
stork gave her shelter unto the day of her death. I sang at 
her funeral," said the Wind ; " I sang at her father's, too : I 
know where is his grave and hers : no one else cares to know. 

" New times are come, the old highway is lost among the 
lelds, old cemeteries have been leveled into new roads, and 
soon will come the steam, with its row of carriages, and rust 
over the old forgotten graves of unknown ancestors. Whew 
whew, whew ! 

" And this is the history of Waldemar Daae and his daugh 



THE WIND'S TALE. 

ters, and it is all true. Tell it better, you people, if you can/' 
challenged the Wind, and veered round. 
He was gone. A 

'- In the southwest of Zealand lie two old castles, Basnaes and Borrebj 
Hall. Between the respective owners of these there was wont, in olden 
time, to be incessant rivalry. On the portal of Basnaes may still be read 
the old rhyme, 

" ' The eagle in lofty hold doth rest, 

Envy beneath in the vale makes his nest.' 

"Concerning Borreby Hall, it is related that a part of it was built from 
the ruins of Marshal Stig's castle, which stood on Stig's Naes, or prom- 
ontory, not far off. .... On the left side of the main building of Borreby 
Hall there were formerly two arches, and in the arch in the place whereof 
now stands the staircase, there was what was called the Record Room. 
This last contained three large iron chests filled with letters and manuscripts, 
among them many referring to state affairs ; but as the key was always 
left in the door, these papers in time got dispersed, and at last Peter Ro- 
senmeier, the steward, had the chests broken in pieces and the iron made 
into horseshoes. From the ceiling in this chamber hung a bell, the origi- 
nal purpose whereof none could divine, but concerning it was known that 
when Herre Christian Frus lay dying, he told his wife, Mette Hardenberg, 
that when she should hear the bell in the Record Room give out a peal, 
she must prepare to follow him into the grave. And even so it came to 
pass, for some years later, when Fru Mette sat one evening playing at 
cards with other ladies, the bell from the Record Room was heard to ring, 
and she laid the cards aside, saying, ' Now is my death very nigh,' and 
shortly afterward she died. Borreby Hall was then sold to Admiral Glaus 
Daae, who bequeathed it to his two sons, Christian and Waldemar. And 
after these two had disputed for some time concerning their inheritance, 
they agreed to share the hall and the lands thereto belonging after this fash- 
ion ; Waldemar was to have the main building, erecting for himself what 
outhouses he required, whilst his brother was to retain the keep and the 
outhouses. So Waldemar had the great hall, and built his own outhouses 
)n the further side of the moat ; but he soon grew discontented to see the 
strong tower and its spire belonging to his brother, and taking advantage 
of the absence of Christian Daae, he pulled down the spire, and raxul the 
tower to the ground. But he never prospered afterward.'' Here follows 
Waldemar's history, as also related. " Herre Ove Ramel of Basnaes, hav- 
ing b(.Jght up the mortgages upon Borreby Hall, which had been given by 
its owner to a Holstein nobleman, succeeded to the estate, Waldemar 
Daae retiring to Smidstrup, where he rented a house for ten marks yearly. 
But here he stayed only through the summer ; he then removed to Viborg 
jmd died there. And Herre Ove Ramel, who now possessed both Basnaes 
Borreby, had much to do to repair the latter, which was in a very ru- 
is state. He often travelled over to Borreby to look after the repairs ; 



328 



STORIES AND TALES 



and so it happened that once when he had bidden his servant, Feter Ro 
lenmeier, cover the table, and he sat and dined, there came in through the 
door a great black dog ; and the creature came up to the table and stared 
it him with large, glistening eyes. Herre Ove Ramel, who was alone, felt 
startled, but presently the dog left the chamber, passing straight to the 
Record Room already mentioned. So when Peter Rosenmeier returned, 
his master bade him go to the Record Room and drive out the dog, and 
lie went, but could not find the creature and shortly after this Herre Otf 
died." Thiele, Danmarks Folkesagn^ vol. i. 



THE HORN-BOOK. 

THERE was a certain man who set himseJf 4 o writing new 
doggeiel for the Horn-book two lines to every letter, 
as in the old one : he fancied the old rhymes were too hack- 
neyed, and that something new was needed for the rising 
generation. His new Horn-book was as yet only in manu- 
script, and he had placed it by the side of the old printed one, 
in the great book-case, full of such a multitude of books, some 
learned, others mere books of amusement. But the old 
Horn-book would not peaceably endure the new Horn- book 
as a neighbor : he had sprung down from the shelf, giving 
his rival a push that stretched him on the floor, scattering the 
loose leaves all about. As for the old Horn-book, he lay 
open at his first page, the most important of all, where stand 
displayed all the letters, large and small. That page con- 
tains within it the essence of all the books that ever were 
written : it contains the alphabet, the wonderful army of signs 
that rule the world : a marvelous power, in sooth, have they ! 
It all depends on the order in which they are commanded to 
stand ; they have power to give life or take it away, to glad- 
den or to sadden. Individually they mean nothing ; but 
marshaled, ranked in order by a mighty chieftain, what can 
they not effect ? 

And now, there they lay, turned upward, and the Cock 
which was pictured at the beginning of the alphabet beamed 
out with feathers, red, blue, and green. Proudly he bridled 
up and ruffled his plumes, for he knew how great was the 
power of the letters, how honorable his position. 

So, finding the old Horn-book had fallen open, he flapped 
his wings, flew forth, and perched on a corner of the book- 
case ; there he plumed himself with his beak, and crowed 
long and loud. Every single book among them all and 
they were all wont to stand night and day as in a trance, sw 



330 STORIES AND TALES. 

long as no one was reading them every single book was 
roused by his trumpet-call ; and then, when they were all 
wide awake, the Cock spoke out loudly and clearly about the 
insult that had been shown toward the worthy, venerable old 
Horn-book. 

" Everything is to be new nowadays," he complained 
" children are so wise now, they can read before they have 
learnt the alphabet. ' O, they want something new ! ' declared 
the man who wrote those stupid new verses that now lie 
sprawling on the floor. I know them well enough ; more 
than ten times over have I heard him read them aloud, he 
admired them so much. Saving his presence, I prefer my 
own, the good old rhymes, with Xanthus for X, and with 
pictures belonging to them. I will fight for them ; I will 
crow for them ! Every book in the book-case knows them 
well. But I will just read out these absurd new rhymes. I 
will try and read them patiently, and then I know we shall all 
agree that they are good for nothing : 

ut A. Air. 

The Air spreads round us far and wide, 
Above us, and on every side.' 

" Could anything be more insipid ? " commented the Cock* 
" But I will go on : 

'". Bear; Boat. 
The Bear roams lonely ; lo, a Boat ; 
Men hunt him for his good warm coat. 

" ' C. Columbus. 

Columbus seeks America's shore, 

And the earth grows twice as large at before 

"<D. Denmark. 

Denmark is a bonnie land ; 

God shield it with protecting hand ! ' 

u Now, that is just what some folk will consider so fine and 
patriotic,'* quoth the Cock. " I don't ; I can find nothing 
6n heie. No matter : 

" ' E. Elephant. 

The Elephant walks with a stately stride 
Crushing the jungle on either 



THE HORN-BOOK. 33 1 

" F. Fair. 

Fantastic sights are in the Fair ; 

Let us see the monkeys and dancing bear 

o, Gold. 

Gold ! gold ! bright red gold ! 
Heavy to win, and light to hold.' 

" I have heard something very like that before," objected 
the Cock : 

" ' H. Hurra. 

Hurra ! 'tis an easy word to say : 

But where is the deed that deserves hurra ? ' 

" I should like to know how many children will understand 
that ! " exclaimed the Cock. " I suppose they will put on the 
title-page, ' Horn-book for Big People and Little ; ' but the 
big folk have something else to do besides reading Horn-book 
rhymes, and the little ones won't be able to understand them. 
There are limits to everything. Well, what now ? 

" ' /. Iceland ; Island ; Ida ; Isaac. 

Iceland, an Island, lies in the sea ; 

And Ida and Isaac shall go there with me.' 

" Perfectly absurd ! " declared the Cock : 

" ' K. Kitten ; Kitchen ; Knitting. 

Whilst in the Kitchen we were sitting, 

That frolicsome Kitten tangled my Knitting.' 

" As bad as the last ! " interjected the Cock. " I doa'l 
tj prove of double rhymes : 

" ' Z. Lion ; Land. 

Slowly the Lion paces the sand, 

With solemn step, in the Nubian Land. 

" ' M. Morning. 

Duly this Morning the sun uprose, 

But not tor the noisy cock's loud crows.' 

" Personalities ! ' exclaimed the Cock ; " coarse enough, 
too. But, thank you, good man, I am in tolerable company \ 
[ don't object to being named along with the sun. Let's try 
a J'ttle further- 



332 STORIES AND TALES. 

"' N. Negro ; Night. 

Black as a Negro, black as Night ; 

For where is the soap that can wash him white > 

" ' O. Olive. 

Tke best of all leaves, which is it ? I know ! 
The dove's own Olive begins with an O. 

'"P. Patience. 

Patience, Prudence, Peace, and Plenty, 
Seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty. 

" ' Q. Queen. 

A quiet Queen went in quest of a Quill, 
For aught I know she is seeking it still. 

" ' R. River ; Reeds. 
The rapid River runs along, 
Reeds and Rushes list his song. 

" ' S. Swine. 

Proclaim it not, though all the Swine 
That in the forest feed were thine.' 

" Bear with me, my friends ! '" said the Cock. " I really 
must stop and crow a little. It tries one's strength, reading 
so long: I must get breath." And then he crowed, shrill as 
a brass trumpet ; it must have been a real pleasure for tha 
Cock, at least, he always enjoyed it. Then he went on : 

"' T. Tea-kettle; Tea-urn. 

The Tea-kettle doth to the kitchen belong, 
Yet the Tea-urn sings not a better song. 

*U. Upsal. 

Upsal is a stately town, 

In the map you'll find the name set down. 

*V.W. Vine ; Wine. 

O, graceful doth twine the bonnie green Vine, 
And from its juice we make good Wine." 

"Now, it is quite impossible," quoth the Cock, "that he 
&n have found anything new for X instead of Xanthus 
Nay, what have we here ? 



THE HORN-BOOK. 333 

'X. Xantippe. 

The sea of marriage has rocks of strife, 
As Socrates found with Xantippe, his wife * 

' Well, let him take Xantippe, if he likes. He is welcome. 
Xanthus was ever so much better : 

'" Y.Y^drasil. 

Under Ygdrasil tree an ash, they say 

Sat the gods in coun:il every day ; 

But the tree is dead and the gods are fled.' 

" What business had he to make a third line of it ? Who 
wanted more than two, I wonder ? And understand it I don't. 
But here we come to the last : that's a comfort : 

" ' Z. Zephyr. 

Sweet Zephyr, the gentle wind from the west, 
O, that is the breeze that I love the best ! ' 

" Well there's an end of it in one sense, at least ; I wish 
we could hear the end of it in the other sense. But, no ! it 
will be printed and sold and read, instead of the noble old 
rhymes in my book. What says the assembly, learned and 
unlearned, collectively and individually ? What says the al- 
phabet ? I have spoken ; now let others act ! " 

The books stood still ; the book-case stood still ; but the 
Cock flew back to his place at great C in the old Horn-book, 
and looked proudly around. " I have spoken well I have 
crowed well ! The new Horn-book can do nothing like it 
It will die of a certainty ; it is dead already it has DO 
Cock 1 " 



THE OLD OAK-TREE'S LAST DREAM. 

A CHRISTMAS TALE. 

THERE stood in the wood, high on a bank near the opca 
sea-shore, such a splendid old Oak-tree ! It was just 
three hundred and sixty five years old ; but all this length of 
years had seemed to the tree scarcely more than so many days 
appear to us men and women. A tree's life is not quite the 
same as a man's ; we wake during the day, and sleep and 
dream during the night ; but a tree wakes throughout three 
seasons of the year, and has no sleep till winter comes. The 
winter U its sleeping time, its night after the long day which 
we call spring, summer, and autumn. 

Through many a warm summer day had the May-flies 
danced in light, innocent glee round his crown ; and if for a 
moment one of the little creatures rested from its play on one 
of the large, fresh oak-leaves, the tree would say, " Poor little 
insect ! only one day long is thy brief life ! how sad that is ! " 

" Sad ! " would the little May-fly then exclaim in wonder , 
" what meanest thou by ' sad ? ' Everything is so bright, so 
warm and beautiful, and I am so happy ! ' 

" But only for one day, and then all is past for thee." 

" Past ? " repeated the May-fly. " What is * past ? ' Art 
thou ' past,' too ? " 

" No ; I shall live thousands, perhaps, of thy days, and my 
day lasts a whole year. But that is something so long, thou 
canst not reckon it." 

"Well then, I don't understand thee at all. Thou hast 
thousands of days, and I have thousands of moments to be 
happy and joyous. Will the beauty of this world cease when 
thou diest ? " 

** No," said the tree ; " it will last longer, infinitely longer. 

" Well, then, we are in the same case, onK* I reckon differ 
tntJy." 



THE OLD OAK- TREE'S LAST DREAM. 



335 



And the May-fly danced hither and thither, rejoiced over 
her fine delicate wings, and reveled in the warm aunosphere, 
which was so perfumed with the delicious scents from the clo- 
ver-field and the wild roses, elders, and honeysuckles of the 
hedge, not to speak of bluebells, cowslips, and wild thyme, 
that the little insect felt as it were intoxicated with sweet 
odors. The day was long, full of brightness, beauty, and 
joy, and by sunset the little May-fly felt wearied out with 
pleasant excitement. Her wings would bear her no longer; 
softly she glided down upon the cool, rocking blades of grass, 
nodded her little head, and slept the happy sleep of death. 

" Poor little May-fly ! " quoth the Oak-tree ; " thine was :oo 
brief an existence ! " 

And every summer day recurred the same dance, the same 
argument, and the same peaceful falling asleep ; it was re- 
peated through whole generations of May-flies, all alike light- 
hearted and joyous. 

The Oak-tree stood wide awake during his spring morning, 
his summer noon, his autumnal evening ; now it was nearly 
night ; winter was drawing nigh. Already the storms were 
singing, " Good-night, good-night ! there falls a leaf, there falls 
a leaf ! we plucked it, we plucked it ! Sleep soundly ! we will 
sing thee to sleep ! we will rock thee to sleep ! we do no 
harm, we do the old boughs good ; they crack, and rustle, and 
swing, all from pure pleasure. Sleep soundly, sleep soundly ! 
it is thy three hundredth and sixty-fifth night, but thou art as 
fresh as a sapling but a year old ; sleep soundly ! The skies 
are dripping with snow will shake a warm white coverlet 
>ver thy feet ; sleep soundly, and dream pleasant dreams ! " 

And the Oak-tree stood stripped of all his foliage, ready to 
^, to rest for the whole winter, and in it to dream many 
dreams to dream of the past, just as men dream. 

The tree had once been a little one, and had had a field for 
his cradle. Now, according to human reckoning, he was in 
his fourth century ; he was the tallest and mightiest tree in the 
wood ; his crown towered high above all the other trees, and 
v as seen far out on the sea, serving as a beacon to ships 
t.ut the old Oak-tree had never thought how many eyes sough! 
him out from afar. High up in his green crown ivood-rlovea 



336 STORIES AND TALES 

had built their nests, and the cuckoo perched to announce 
spring; and in the autumn, when his leaves looked like cop- 
per-plates hammered out thin, birds of passage came and rested 
awhile among the boughs, before they flew across the seas. 
But now it was winter ; the tree stood leafless, and the bowed 
and crooked branches displayed their dark outlines ; crows 
and jackdaws came alternately, gossiping together about th 
hard times that were beginning, and the difficulty of getting 
food during the winter. 

It was just at the holy Christmas-tide that the Oak-tree 
dreamt his most beautiful dream ; this dream we will hear. 

The tree had a foreboding that a festive season was nigh \ 
he seemed to hear the church-bells ringing all round, and to 
feel as though it were a mild, warm summer day ; fresh and 
green, he reared his mighty crown on high, the sunbeams 
played among his leaves and boughs, the air was filled with 
fragrance, bright-colored butterflies gamboled, and gnats 
danced which was all they could do to show their joy. And 
all that the tree had beheld during his life passed by as in a 
festive procession. Knights and ladies, with feathers in their 
caps, and hawks perching on their wrists, rode gayly through 
the wood, dogs barked, and the huntsman sounded his bugle. 
Then came foreign soldiers in bright armor and gay vestments, 
bearing spears and halberds, setting up their tents, and pres- 
ently taking them down again ; then watch-fires blazed up, 
and bands of wild outlaws sang, reveled, and slept under the 
tree's outstretched boughs, or happy lovers met in the quiet 
moonlight, and carved their initials on the grayish bark. At 
one time a guitar, at another an yEolian harp, had been hung 
up amid the old oak's boughs, by merry travelling apprentices ; 
now they hung there again, and the wind played so sweetly 
with the strings. The wood-doves cooed, as though they would 
do their best to express the tree's happy feelings, and the 
cuckoo talked about himself as usual, proclaiming how many 
summer days he had to live. 

And now it seemed a new and stronger current of life 
flowed through him, down to his lowest roots, up to his high 
est twigs, even to the very leaves ! the tree felt in his roots 
tha.t a warm life stirred in the earth felt his strength increase. 



THE OLD OAK-TREE'S LAST DREAM. 337 

and that he was growing taller and taller ; his trunk shot up 
more and more, his crown grew fuller, he spread, he towered, 
and still as the tree grew he felt that his power grew with it, 
and that his ardent longing to advance higher and higher up 
to the bright warm sun increased also. 

Already had he towered above the clouds, \\hich drifted 
below him, now like a troop of dark-plumaged birds of passage, 
now like flocks of large white swans. 

And every leaf could see as though it had eyes ; the stars 
became visible by daylight, so large and bright, each one spark- 
ling like a mild, clear eye ; they reminded him of dear kind 
eyes that had sought each other under his shade lovers' 
eyes, children's eyes. 

It was a blessed moment ! and yet, in the height of his joy. 
the Oak-tree felt a desire and longing that all the other trees, 
bushes, herbs, and flowers of the wood might be lifted up with 
him, might share in this glory and gladness. The mighty Oak- 
tree, amid his dream of splendor, could not be fully blessed 
unless he might have all, little and great, to share it with him : 
and this feeling thrilled through boughs and leaves as strongly, 
as fervently as though his were the heart of a man. 

The tree's crown bowed itself, as though it missed and 
sought something, looked backward. Then he felt the fra- 
grance of honeysuckles and violets, and fancied he could hear 
the cuckoo answering himself. 

Yes, so it was ! for now peeped forth, through the clouds, 
the green summits of the wood ; the other trees below had 
grown and lifted themselves up likewise ; bushes and herbs 
shot high into the air, some tearing themselves loose from their 
roots, and mounting all the faster. The birch had grown most 
rapidly ; like a flash of white lightning, its slender stem shot 
upward, i 3 boughs waving like pale-green banners. Even the 
feathery brown reed had pierced its way through the clouds ; 
and the birds followed and sang, and sang, and on the grass 
that fluttered to and fro like a long streaming green ribbon 
perched the grasshopper, and drummed with his wings on his 
lean body ; the cockchafers hummed, and the bees buzzed 
tvery bird sang with all his might, and all was music arad 
gladness. 

22 



338 STORIES AND TALES. 

" But the little blue flower near the water, I want that 
too," said the Oak-tree ; " and the bell-flower, and the deai 
little daisy ! ' The tree wanted all these. 

" We are here . we are here ! " chanted sweet low voices on 
all sides. 

" But the pretty anemones of last spring, and the be(i of 
lilies of the valley that blossomed the year before that ! and 
the wild crab-apple tree ! and all the beautiful trees and 
flowers that have adorned the wood through so many seasons 
O, would that they had lived till now ! " 

" We are here ! we are here ! ' : was the answer ; and this 
time it seemed to come from the air above, as though they had 
fled upward first. 

*' O, this is too great happiness, it is almost incredible ! ' 
exclaimed the Oak-tree ; " I have them all, small and great ; 
not one of them is forgotten ! How can such blessedness be 
possible ? " 

" In the kingdom of God all things are possible," was the 
answer. 

And the tree now felt that his roots were loosening them- 
selves from the earth. " This is best of all," he said ; " now 
no bonds shall detain me, I can soar up to the height of light 
and glory ; and my dear ones are with me, small and great, 
T have them all ! " 

* 

Such was the old Oak-tree's dieam : and all the while, on 
that holy Christmas Eve, a mighty storm swept over sea anc? 
land ; the ocean rolled its heavy billows on the shore, the tree 
cracked, was rent and torn up by the roots, at the very mo- 
ment when he dreamt that his roots were disengaging them- 
selves from the earth. He fell. His three hundred and sixty- 
five years were now as a day is to the May-fly. 

On Christmas morning, when the sun burst forth, the storm 
was laid ; all the church-bells were ringing joyously, and from 
every chimney, even the poorest, the blue smoke curled up- 
ward, as from the Druids' altar of old uprose the sacrificiaj 
steam. The sea was calm again, and a large vessel that had 
weathered the storm the night before now hoisted all its flags, 
in token of Yule festivity. " The tree is gone, the old Oak 



THE OLD OAK-TREE'S LAST DREAM. 339 

tree, our beacon," said the crew ; " it has fallen during last 
night's storm. How can its place ever be supplied ? " 

This was the tree's funeral eutogium, brief, but well-mean k 
There he lay, outstretched upon the snowy carpet near the 
shore, whilst over it reechoed the hymn sung on shipboard, 
fhe hymn sung in thanksgiving for the joy of Christmas, foi 
the bliss of the human soul's salvation, through Christ, and 
the gift of eternal life : 

" Sing loud, and raise your voices high, 
For your redemption draweth nigh ; 
Lift up your heads, and have no fear I 
The promised kingdom, it is here 1 
O take the gift, in joy receive ; 
All things are his who will believe ; 
O little flock, what words can tell 
The bliss of souls Christ loved so well ? 
Hallelujah 1 Hallelujah ! 

Thus resounded the old hymn, and every soul lifted up 
heart and desire heavenward, even as the old tree had lifted 
himself on his last, best dream his Christmas Eva dream. 



THE THORNY PATH OF HONOR. 

THERE is an old romance called " The Thorny PatL of 
Honor, that was trodden by a huntsman named Bryde, 
whom came to great honor and dignity, but not till after man 
ifold adversities, and much peril of life." Many a one of us 
has heard the tale in childhood, and perchance read it in later 
years, and thought of his own unrecorded " thorny path " and 
manifold adversities." Romance and reality are so much 
alike, but romance has its happy ending here on earth, whilst 
reality more often delays it, and refers us to time and eternity. 

The world's history is a magic lantern, throwing pictures of 
light on the dark backgrounds of the ages ; to show us how 
the benefactors of mankind, the martyrs of progress, have 
trodden " The Thorny Path of Honor." 

From all times, from all lands, stand out these dazzling pic- 
tures ; each picture a moment only, yet a whole life, a life- 
time with its struggles and triumphs. Let us glance here and 
there at a few in the martyr-ranks ; these ranks that will never 
be rilled till the earth melts away. 

Behold a crowded theatre : the " Clouds " of Aristophanes 
are sending streams of mirth and mockery for the populace ; 
the stage of Athens makes a laughing-stock, both body and 
mind, of her foremost man, who stood between the people and 
the Thirty Tyrants, he who in the battle fray rescued Alci- 
biades and Xenophon, he whose spirit soared above the old 
world deities, is here himself in person. He has risen among 
the spectators, and stands forward from the benches, that the 
laughing Athenians may see whether he and the stage carica- 
ture of him are like each other ; there he stands erect before 
them, and in spirit high above them. 

O green, juicy, poisonous hemlock ! be thou, and not the 
olive-tree, the shadowy background of this Athens. 

Seven cities claimed to be Homer's birthplace, that is tc 



THE THORNY PATH OF HONOR. 34! 

say, when he was dead. See him in his life-time ! he wanderi 
through these very cities, reciting his verses for his livelihood. 
Thought for the morrow grizzles his hair. He, the mightiest 
of seers, is blind and lonely ; the sharp thorn rends the man- 
tle of the poet king. 

His songs live still ; and in them alone live the gods and 
he.roes of old. 

Picture upon picture billows forth from the morning land 
and the evening land, far removed by time and space, and yet 
all from the same thorny path, where the thistle never bears 
flower till it can only serve to deck the grave. 

From under the palm-trees come camels, laden with indigo 
ind other precious things ; they are sent by the lord of the 
iand to him whose lays are the people's delight, the country's 
pride. He whom spite and slander drove into exile, is found 
again. The caravan draws near the little town where he has 
taken refuge. A poor corpse is being brought out of the gate : 
this stops the caravan. The dead is the very man they seek, 
Firdusi ended is "The Thorny Path of Honor." 

Yonder sits an African, snub-nosed, blubber-lipped, and 
woolly haired, on the marble steps of the palace in Portugal's 
capital, and begs ; that is the faithful slave of Camoens. 
If it were not for him, and the coppers that are thrown him, 
his master, the singer of the " Lusiad," might have starved to 
death. Now there stands a costly monument on the grave 
of Camoens. 

Yet another picture. Behind iron bars may be seen a man 
with long and matted beard. " I have made an invention," 
he cries, " the greatest for centuries ; and they have kept me 
for more than twenty years caged up here." " Who is he ? ' : 
" A lunatic," says the keeper. " What craze may not befall 
a man ? he thinks that people could get along by steam ! It is 
Solomon de Caus, the discover of steam-power. His prescient 
wcrds have not been clear enough for a Richelieu, and he 
dies imprisoned in a mad-house. 

Here stands Columbus, whom once the street boys pursued 
and hooted, because he would discover a new woild. He 
has discovered it. The bells of jubilee ring a*: his triumphant 
return, but soon the belis of envy sound louder still. Th<* 



342 STORIES AND TALES. 

world-discoverer, he who raised the American gold-land above 
ocean, and gave it to his king, is rewarded with iron chains j 
he desires them to be laid in his coffin, to mark how a man 
is valued by his own age. 

Picture throngs upon picture ; rich is the Thorny Path of 
Honor. 

Here in murky gloom sits he who measured the heights ol 
the moon-mountains ; he who burst his way forth into space, 
among planets and stars ; Galileo, the mighty one, who could 
see and hear the earth beneath him turning round. Blind 
and deaf he sits now, in his old age, suffering tortures of pain 
and privation, hardly able to lift his foot that foot which 
once in mental agony, when the words of truth were blotted 
out, he stamped on the earth, crying, " Still it moves ! " 

Here stands a woman with a child-like heart, a creature of 
impulse and faith. She bears the banner before the warrior 
host, and brings victory and freedom to her father-land. The 
jubilee sounds ; the bale-fire kindles ; Joan of Arc, the witch, 
is burned at the stake. Yea, the coming age will spit upon 
the white lily ; Voltaire, wit's own satyr, will sing of La 
Pucelle. 

At the Viborg-Thing the Danish nobles are burning the 
king's laws. They burst into flames that light up both age 
-*nd lawgiver, and send a flash of glory into yon dark donjon- 
'Ower. Yonder he sits, gray-haired, bent double, furrowing 
the stone table with his fingers ; he once ruled over thre 
kingdoms, the popular chief, the burghers' and peasants' friend, 
Christian the Second ; he of the hard will in the hard age. 
Enemies wrote his history. Seven-and-twenty years of prison, 
let us remember, whenever we are reminded of his blood 
guiltiness. 

There sails a ship from Denmark ; there stands a man by 
the tall mast ; he looks upon Hoen for the last time ; Tycho 
Brahe, who raised Denmark's name to the stars, and was re- 
paid with scath and scorn, is setting forth on his way to a for- 
eign land. " Heaven is everywhere, what want I more ? " such 
are his words ; and away he sails, our most famous man, sura 
in foreign lands of being honored and free. 

, ! ah if only free from the intolerable pains of *hii 



THE THORNY PATH OF HONOR. 343 

bod/' " sighs a voice of the by-gone age to us. What a pic- 
ture ! Griffenfeldt, the Danish Prometheus, fettered to Mumk 
holm's rocky isle. 

We are in America, by one of the large rivers ; crowds of 
people have gathered, a ship is to sail against wind and tide, 
to be a power against the elements. Robert Fulton is the 
name of him who thinks he can do this. The ship begins its 
course, suddenly it stops ; the crowd laughs, whistles, and 
whoops, his own father whoops with them. " Presumption I 
madness ! he has got his deserts ; lock him up, the wiseacre ! " 
Then clicks a small nail, which for a moment had stepped the 
machinery ; the wheels work the paddles round, break the op- 
position of the waves the ship sails. 

Steam's weaver- shuttle turns hours into minutes between 
the lands of the world. 

Mankind, canst thou realize the bliss of such a moment of 
assurance, when the soul perceives its mission ? That moment, 
when the sorest wounds from the Thorny Path of Honor 
though one's own fault may have caused them are healed, 
are forgotten in spiritual health, and strength, and freedom. 
When all discords melt into harmony ; and men acknowledge 
a revelation of God's grace, vouchsafed to one alone, and by 
him made known to all. 

Then the Thorny Path of Honor shines like a glory round 
the earth. Happy he who is chosen to be a pilgrim thereon, 
and without any merit of his own, to be made one of the mas- 
ter builders of the bridge between God and man. 

The Genius of History wings his mighty way throughout trie 
ages, and gives us comfort and good cheer, and thoughtful 
calm of mind, by showing, in sunbright pictures upon murky 
backgrounds, the Thorny Path of Honor: not a path thai 
end, like a fairy tale, in gladness and glitter here on earth, 
but one that points onward, and upwarrj, far away into tirat 
tnd eternity. 



OLE THE WATCHMAN. 

UP and down ! down and up ! Such is the way of th 
world," quoth Ole the watchman. " Now I can hardly 
get any higher ; but up and down, down and up ! such is the 
lot of most of us : it is a fine thing when one becomes a 
watchman in a tower, like me, able to look down upon life 
from an eminence." 

Thus spake my merry friend Ole, in his tower a chatty 
old fellow who seems to say everything that comes into his 
head, and yet keeps so much earnest in the depths of his 
neart. He comes of a good stock some say he was the 
son of a conference councilor it may be so ; he has had 
education, has been a schoolmaster's assistant, the church 
clerk's deputy, and what not besides. When he lodged with 
the clerk, it had been agreed that he was to have free use of 
everything in the house ; now he was young and a bit of a 
dandy in those days, and he must needs have his boots 
cleaned with the very best blacking. But this the head clerk 
would not allow, and so the two disagreed : the one talked of 
avarice, the other of vanity ; this blacking became the black 
cause of strife, and so they parted. But what he required of 
he clerk he required of the world elsewhere, i. e., the very 
best blacking, and as he could not get it, at last he took to 
being a hermit. The only hermitage to be found in a large 
town is the church-tower, so thither he mounted, and there he 
smoked his pipe, and paced up and down on his lonely walk, 
glancing upward and downward, and talking after his fashioc 
about what he saw or saw not, what he read in books or ir. 
himself. I often lent him books, and his taste in these was a 
fair test of his character. " Only tell me what books thou 
Deadest, and I will tell thee what life thou leadest," is no bad 
proverb. My old friend had no fancy for English romances, 
far less for French ones ; no, books about the wonders of 



OLE THE WATCHMAN. 345 

Nature were what he liked. I went to see him generally once 
a year, especially soon after the new year; he had always 
Borne funny fancies then. 

I shall report two visits, giving his own words as far as I 
can. 

FIRST VISIT. 

Among the books I had lately lent Ole was one about pel* 
bles, and this had pleased him mightily. 

" Of a verity, they are real jewels of antiquity, these peb- 
bles," he said ; " and folk pass them by thoughtlessly, tread- 
ing them down on field or shore, as I have done myself, never 
considering what claims they may have to our rospect. Thank 
you for the book, it has put old thoughts and fancies out of 
my head, and made me mad to read more oi' the same sort. 
The earth's romance is truly the most wonderful of all ro- 
mances. It is a pity one cannot read the first parts ; they 
are recorded in a language we have not learned : we have to 
'"imrner away among strata and stones, puzzling out a bit 
here and there out of the several acts of the earth's drama, 
and not before the sixth act do the human actors of the 
drama, old Father Adam and Lady Eve, make their appear- 
ance ; that is far too late for some impatient readers, who 
want them to come on the stage forthwith, but it is soon 
enough for me. Truly it is a romance and a most marvelous 
one, and here are we in the very thick of it. We creep and 
crawl about, but the globe turns round and round all the 
while, and yet never splashes the spray of its oceans over us ; 
the crust we move on keeps whole, and we never fall through, 
ind so the story goes on with steady progress through mill- 
,ons of years. Many thanks for thy book on pebbles ; the 
old fellows could tell us so much, had they but power to 
speak. Is it not funny to think that we are all, whether we 
have the best blacking or not, only like tiny ants on the 
world's ant-hill, even though some of us are ants with stars 
ind ribbons, places and offices ? And one feels so ndicu 
lously young, compared with these venerable stones with 
their millions of years. I read the book on New Year's Eve, 
and was soon so lost in it that I quite forgot my usual New 
Year's Eve entertainment watching the wild hunt to Ama 
ge( : you know what I mean. 



346 STORIES AND TALES. 

" The witches' flight to Blocksberg on Midsummer Eve if 
famous enough, but our wild host speeds to -\mager on Nevr 
Year's Eve. For all the bad poets, poetesses, newspaper 
scribblers, musicians, and artistic celebrities who are fit for 
nothing else, ride on New Year's Eve through the air to Ama- 
ger ; they sit astride their pencils or goose-quills steel-pens 
are too stiff for the purpose. I see them every New Year's 
Eve ; most of them I could name, but it is not worth while, 
they have no fancy that folk should know of their voyage 
through the air on goose-quills. I have a sort of cousin who 
is a fishwoman, and provides abuse and scandal for three 
respectable journals ; she declares she has been invited to 
join the party ; she was carried, for she cannot herself wield 
a pen, and therefore could not ride on one. Half of what 
she told me is a lie, no doubt, but half is enough. When she 
was fairly started they all set up a chorus, each of the guests 
had composed his own melody, and each sang his own, which 
of course he deemed the best ; they were all much alike ; it 
was regular cats' chorus. They were marshaled in compa- 
nies ; those who write without giving their names had to be 
introduced one after another ; the executioners, too, and the 
folk who write puffs, affirming indifferent articles to be ' good, 
very good, supereminently good,' were received with wonder- 
ful cordiality. And in the midst of all these diversions, such 
as they were, would shoot forth from holes here and there, 
now a barren stalk, now a leafless tree, a monstrous flower, 
or great mushroom, and last of all a roof bearing on it all 
things whatsoever this honorable assembly had given to the 
world during the last year ; bright sparks were seen glisten- 
ing among them, and these were the borrowed thoughts and 
ideas that had been made use of, and which now released 
themselves and flew up like sky-rockets. They played at 
games, ' What are my thoughts like ? ' and ' Cross question? 
ana crooked answers,' and small witticisms went round, and 
laughter, like * the crackling of thorns under a pot,' followed. 
It was most amusing, my cousin declared, and she bore her 
fall share in the entertainment, and said so many malicious 
'Jiings. So you see, since I know so much about this mid 
aight festival, it is onlv natural that I should be interested IB 



OLE THE WATCHMAN. 347 

watching for it ; but yesterday I forgot all about it, I was roll 
ing about with my stones, rolling through millions of years, 
watching them as they loosened themselves up in the north, 
drifted along with the icebergs ages before Noah's ark was 
timbered, sink to the bottom and then mounted up again on 
a sand-reef, and lastly peering up through the waves, declar- 
ing of themselves ' We will be Zealand ! ' I saw them become 
the homes of different species of birds whereof we know 
nought, the homes of wild chieftains we know not either^ 
until the axe hewed out in Runic letters the names of a few 
hat can thus be referred in our chronology. 

" Well I was still busied with these stones when there fell 
two, three, four beautiful shooting-stars, and these gave my 
thoughts quite another turn. Now do they know what sort of 
thing is a shooting-star ? do they know it or not, these sages ? 
Because I have an idea of my own about them. This is what 
I start from. How often is not a single audible word of 
thanks or blessing returned for the good action or beautiful 
work that rejoices the hearts of all who witness it ! Yes, 
often is gratitude unuttered, but it falls not to the ground, 
nevertheless ; I can fancy it is caught up by the sunshine, 
and sooner or later the sunbeams bear the silent thanksgiving 
hence and showers it over the head of the benefactor. Some 
times the thanks of a whole nation are thus due ; they come, 
latt, but come at last like a bouquet, falling in the guise of a 
shooting-star over the grave of hero or statesman. And thus 
*t is a wonderful pleasure to me when I see a shocting star 
especially on New Year's Eve, and to guess for wi'om the 
bouquet of thanks can be intended. Lately there fell a ladiant 
shooting-star in the southwest whom could that be for ? 
it fell, I think, exactly over the bank by Flensborg Fiord { 
where the Danish banner with its white v^oss waves over the 
graves of Schleppegrell, Lassoe, and their comrades. And 
another fell in the heart of Zealand, it fell upon Scro ; f 
know that was a bouquet for Holberg's grave, a thanksgiving 
from the multitude who during the past year have laughed 
over his delightful comedies. 

" It would be a joy indeed, a triumph, tc know that such a 
meteor would fall upon our own graves ! One thing is ccr 



548 STORIES AND TALES. 

tain, none will ever fall on mine, not a single sunbeam wil 
bring me thanks, for I have done nothing I can be thanke* 
for. I do not deserve, it seems, even blacking for my boots ! ' 

concluded Ole. 

SECOND VISIT. 

Again, on another New Year's Day, I went to the tower, 
and this time Ole talked about the toasts that had been 
drunk the evening before. Then came his history of the 
glasses, much in these words. 

" When on New Year's Eve the clock strikes twe ve, peo- 
ple rise from table with their glasses fresh filled, and drink a 
welcome to the New Year. Folk begin the New Year with a 
glass in their hands, that is first-rate for those who love wine , 
folk begin the year with going to bed, that is famous for 
sluggards ! But sleep is sure to play a chief leading part in 
the doings of the year, and wine too. Do you know the 
inhabitants of the glasses ? "' he asked. " Why, health, joy, 
and whims, vexation, and bitter misery all dwell therein ! 

" Look you now, the first glass is the glass of health, that 
{.recious herb grows therein ; plant it in the bare boards of 
thy chamber, and by the year's end thou mayst sit in a leafy 
arbor. 

" Now take the second glass ! Ah yes, thence flies out a 
little bird, chirruping with such innocent gladness of heart, 
that men listen and perhaps sing with it, sing * Life is fair, we 
will not droop our heads ; courage, and joy, and freedom ! ' 

" From the third glass darts forth a tiny winged sprite, a 
cherub can he not be called, for he has Nisse's blood and a 
Nisse's soul, all for jest and drollery. He lurks behind our 
tar and whispers some queer fancy, he creeps into our heart's 
core and warms it so that a man grows extravagantly merry 
becomes the wittiest in a party of wits. 

" In the fourth glass dwell neither herb, bird, or fairy : it is 
the boundary line of sense, and beyond that boundary shouldst 
thou never pass. 

" Takest thou the fifth glass ? Then wilt thou weep in bit- 
ter anguish, or else laugh a fierce laughter. For from this 
glass springs forth with a shout Prince Carnival, wanton and 
irild as an elf; he presses upon thee, thou forgettest thy dig 



OLE THE IVATCKMAM. 

fc ty, if thou hast any, forge ttest what thoti oughtest not to 
forget. All is dance, and song, and clamor, the masks spring 
upon thee ; tear thyself loose if thou canst ! 

" The sixth glass ! Ah, here comes a man with a lantern 
to guide thee home to what sort of home ? and inhabited 
by what sort of spirits ? There is an old legend about a saint 
who was bidden choose one of the seven deadly sins, and he 
chose, as he thought, the least drunkenness and in it 
he committed all the six others. The vile liquid in the sixth 
glass nourishes all evil seeds within us ; each one of them 
sprouting forth with a force like that of the grain of mustard, 
which spreads into a mighty tree. And so he/e you have my 
history of the six glasses," concluded he. 

This was what I heard on my second visit lo Olc. I m&$ 
pay him arother next New Year's Day. 




THE DAYS OF THE WEEK. 

E will also have a good time for once," said the Da/s 
of the Week ; " we will come together and have, a 
feast." But every one of the seven Days was so much occu- 
pied all the year round, that they had not a free moment left 
for enjoyment. They wanted to have a whole day to them- 
selves, and such a day they get every four years in the inter- 
calary day ; this day is placed at the end of February, for the 
purpose of bringing order in the account of time. 

And on this intercalary day they decided to meet together, 
and hold their feast. February being the month of carnivals, 
they agreed to come together in a carnival fashion, every one 
dressed according to his profession and destination ; have the 
best things to eat, and drink the best wines, make speeches, 
and tell each other the most agreeable and most disagreeable 
things in unrestrained fellowship. The Norse heroes had a 
r.ustom, in the good old times, of shying the bones, which 
they had cleared of all the meat, at each others head ; but 
the week-days thought of throwing bombshells at each other 
with their mouths, in the form of scorching witticisms, such 
as might be in keeping with innocent carnival amusements. 

And the twenty ninth of February came in due time ; with 
it they assembled. 

Sunday, foreman of the week-days, came first, dressed in a 
black silk cloak. The pious people mistook the cloak for a 
minister's gown. The worldly minded, however, saw that he 
was dressed in domino for a frolic, and that the full blown car- 
nation, which he wore in his button-hole, was nothing b it a 
little red theatre-lantern, which said, " No more tickets : stand* 
ing room only ; hope you will enjoy yourself." 

Monday, a young mechanic, a distant relative of Sunday, 
and much given to pleasures, came next. No sooner did he 
hear the military music of the parade, than he rushed out. 



THE DAYS OF THE WEEK. 351 

saying, " I mast go and hear Offenbach's music : it does not 
go to my head, neither to the heart : but it itches 'n the mus- 
cles of my legs. I must dance, and have a swing vith tha 
girls, get me a blue eye, and then sleep upon il ; the next 
day I go to work with new vigor : did you see the new moon 
of the week ? ' 

Tuesday is Tyr's day, the day of strength. " Yes, that ara 
I," said Tuesday. " I take hold of the work, fasten Mercury's 
wings to the merchant's boots, look after the factory, and see 
that the wheels are oiled, and turn easily. I also see to it 
that the tailor sits upon his table, and the street-paver is by 
his paving-stones. I hold everybody to his business, and have 
an eye upon them all, and therefore I appear among you in a 
policeman's uniform, and my name is ' Politics day.' If this 
is a bad joke, then you may think of a better one, every one 
of you." 

" And now come I," said Wednesday. " I stand in the mid- 
die of the week ; the Germans call me Mr. Midweek. I 
stand like a young clerk in a store, like a flower among the 
other honored days of the week. If we march up in file, then 
have I three days in front of me, and three days behind ; 
they are my body-guard : and I may with propriety say that 
I am the most prominent of all the days of the week." 

And now Thursday came in, dressed up like a coppersmith, 
with a hammer and a copper kettle token of his aristocratic 
descent. " I am of very high birth," said he. " In the north- 
ern countries I am named after Thor, the god of thunder ; 
and in the south, after Jupiter, the god of lightning ; these 
two understood how to thunder and lighten, and that has re- 
mained in the family." 

And then he beat his copper kettle, and thus proved his 
aigh descent. 

Friday was dressed up like a young girl, who called herself 
Freia, the goddess of beauty of the North ; for variety's sake 
she called herself Venus ; that depended altogether on the 
language of the country in which she appeared. She was of 
a quiet, cheerfu 1 character, she said ; but this was the odd day 
of the leap year, which gives liberty to woman, that she may, 
according to an old custom, propose to the man she likeS| 
without waiting for him to propose to her. 



35 2 



STORIES AND TALES. 



Last came Saturday, waddling along like an old house 
keeper, with broom, dust-pan, and other cleansing articles. 
Her favorite dish was beer-soap, but she was not particularly 
anxious to have it put on the table on that festive occasion. 

And thus the week-days held a banquet, as I have described 
them ; here they are, ready for family use as tableaux. Oi 
course you may improve upon them ; we give them only as 
vignettes for February, the only month that receives a day il 
fdditioa. 



DANISH POPULAR LEGENDS. 

DENMARK is rich in old legends of historical person^ 
churches, and manors, of hills, of fields, and bottomless 
moors ; sayings from the days of the great plague, from the 
times of war and peace. The sayings live in books, and on 
the tongues of the people ; they fly far about like a flock of 
birds, but still are as different from one another as the thnash 
is from the owl, as the wood-pigeon from the gull. Listen to 
me, and I will tell you some of them. 

It happened one evening in days of yore, when the enemy 
were pillaging the Danish country, that a battle had been 
fought and won by the Danes, and many killed and wounded 
lay on the field of battle. One of these, an enemy, h^d lost 
both his legs by a shot. A Danish soldier, standing near by, 
had just taken out a bottle filled with beer, and was about to 
put it to his mouth, when the badly wounded man asked him 
for a drink. As he stooped to hand him the bottle, the enemy 
discharged his pistol at him, but missed his shot. The sol- 
dier drew his bottle back again, drank half of it, and gave the 
remaining half to his enemy, only saying, " You rascal, row 
you will only get half of it." 

The king afterward hearing of this, granted the soldier and 
his descendants an armorial bearing of nobility, on which vaa 
painted a half- filled bottle, in memory of his deed. 

There is a beautiful tradition worth telling about the 
church-bell of Farum. The parsonage stood close by t^e 
church. It was a dark night late in the fall, and the minister 
vas sitting up at a late hour preparing his sabbath sermon, 
when he heard a slight, strange sound from the large church- 
bell. No wind was blowing, and the sound was inexplicable 
10 him ; he got up, took the keys, and went into the church 

21 



354 STORIES AND TALES. 

As he entered the church the sound stopped suddenly, but h 
heard a faint sigh from above. " Who is there, disturbing the 
peace of the church ? " he asked, in a loud voice. Footsteps 
were heard from the tower, and he saw in the passage-way a 
little boy advancing toward him. 

" Be not angry ! " said the child. " I slipped in here when 
the Vesper Service was rung ; my mother is very sick ! " and 
now the little boy could not say more for the tears that choked 
him. The minister patted him on the cheek, and encouraged 
him to be frank, and to tell him all about it. 

"They say that my mother my sweet, good mother is 
going to die ; but I knew that when one is sick unto death he 
may recover again and live, if in the middle of the night one 
dares enter the church, and scrape off a little rust from the 
large church-bell ; that is a safeguard against death. There- 
fore I came here and hid myself until I heard the clock strike 
twelve. I was so afraid ! I thought of all the dead ones, and 
of their coming into the church. I dared not look out ; I 
said the Lord's Prayer, and scraped the rust off the bell." 

" Come, my good child," said the minister ; " our Lord will 
forsake neither thy mother nor thee." So they went together 
to the poor cottage, where the sick woman was lying. She 
slept quietly and soundly. Our Lord granted her life, and hi* 
blessings shone over her and her son. 

There is a legend about a poor young fellow, Paul Ven- 
delbo, who became a great and honored man. He was born 
in Jutland, and had striven and studied so well that he got 
through the examination as student, but felt a still greater 
desire to become a soldier and stroll about in foreign coun* 
tries. One day he walked with two young comrades, who 
were well off, along the ramparts of Copenhagen, and talked 
to them of his desire. He stopped suddenly, and looked up 
at the window of the Professor's house, where a young girl 
was seated, whose beauty had astonished him and the two 
others. Perceiving how he blushed, they said in joke, " Go 
in to her, Paul ; and if you can get a voluntary kiss from hei 
at the window, so that we can see it, we will give you money 
for travelling, that you may go abroad and see if fortune is 
more favorable for you there than at home." 







DANISH POPULAR LEGENDS. See page 858. 



DANISH POPULAR LEGLNDS. 355 

Pau; Vendelbo entered into the house, and knocked at the 
parlor door. 

" My father is not at home," said the young girl. 

" Do not be angry with me ! " he answered, and the blood 
rushed up into his cheeks, " it is not your father I want ! " 
And now he told her frankly and heartily his wish to tr) the 
world and acquire an honorable name ; he told her of his two 
friends who were standing in the street, and had promised 
him money lor travelling on the condition that she should 
voluntarily give him a kiss at the open window; and he 
looked at her with such an open, honest, and frank face, that 
her anger disappeared. 

" It is not right for you to speak such words to a chaste 
maid," said she ; " but you look so honest, I will not hinder 
youi fortune ! ' And she led him to the window, and gave 
him a kiss. His friends kept their promise, and furnished 
him with money. He went into the service of the Czar, 
fought in the battle of Pultawa, and acquired name and 
honor. Afterward, when Denmark needed him, he returned 
home, and became a mighty man of the army and of the 
king's council. One day he entered the Professor's plain 
room, and it was not just the Professor he wished to see this 
time either : it was again his daughter, Ingeborg Vinding, 
who gave him the kiss, the inauguration of his fortune. A 
fortnight after, Paul Vendelbo Loevendern (Lion-eagle) cele 
brated his wedding. 

The enemy made once a great attack on the Danish island 
of Funen. One village only was spared ; but this was also 
soon to be sacked and burnt. Two poor people lived in a 
low-studded house, in the outskirts of the town. It was a 
dark winter evening ; the enemy was expected ; and in their 
anxiety they took the Book of Psalms, and opened it to see if 
he psalm which they first met with could render them any 
id or comfort. They opened the book, and turned to the 
psalm, " A mighty fortress is our God." Full of confidence, 
they sang it ; and, strengthened in faith, they went to bed and 
slept well, kept by the Lord's guardianship. When they 
awoke in the morning it was quitr dark in the room, and f he 



356 STORIES AND TALES. 

daylight could not penetrate ; they went to the door, but 
could not open it. Then they mounted the loft, got the trap- 
door open, and saw that it was broad daylight ; but a heavy 
drift of snow had in the night fallen upon the whole house 
and hidden it from the enemies, who in the night-time had 
pillaged and burnt the town. Then they clasped their hands 
in thankfulness, and repeated the psalm, " A mighty fortress 
is our God ! " The Lord had guarded them, and raised an 
intrenchment of snow around them. 

From North Seeland there comes a gloomy incident that 
stirs the thoughts. The church of Roervig is situated far out 
toward the sand hills by the stormy Kattegat. One evening 
a large ship dropped anchor out there, and was presumed to 
be a Russian man-of-war. In the night a knocking was heard 
at the gate of the parsonage, and several armed and masked 
persons ordered the minister to put on his ecclesiastical gown 
and accompany them out to the church. They promised him 
good pay, but used menaces if he declined to go. He went 
with them. The church was lighted, unknown people were 
gathered, and all was in deep silence. Before the altar the 
bride and bridegroom were waiting, aressed in magnificent 
clothes, as if they were of high rank, but the bride was pale 
as a corpse. When the marriage ceremony was finished, a 
shot was heard, and the bride lay dead before the altar. 
They took the corpse, and all went away with it. The next 
morning the ship had weighed anchor. To this day nobody 
las been able to give any explanation of the event. 

The minister who took part in it wrote down the whole 
event in his Bible, which is handed down in his family. The 
old church is still standing between the sand hills at the toss- 
ing Kattegat, and the story lives in writing and in memory. 

1 must tell you one more church legend. There lived .'n 
Denmark, on the island of Falster, a rich lady of rank, who 
had no children, and her family was about to die out. So 
she took a part of her riches and built a magnificent chuich. 
When it was finished, and the altar-candles lighted, she 
tepped up to the altar-table and prayed on her knees to oui 



DANISH POPULAR LEGENDS. 357 

Lord, that He would grant her, for her pious gift, a life upon 
the earth as long as her church was standing. Years went 
by. Her relations died, her old friends and acquaintances, 
and all the former servants of the manor were laid in theii 
graves; but she, who made such an evil wish, did not die. 
Generation upon generation became strange to her, she did 
not approach anybody, and nobody approached her. She 
wasted away in a long dotage, and sat abandoned and alone ; 
her senses were blunted, she was like a sleeping, but not like 
a dead person. Every Christmas Eve the life in her flashed 
up for a moment, and she got her voice again. Then she 
would order her people to put her in an oak coffin, and place 
it in the open burying-place of the church. The minister 
was then to wait on her in order to receive her commands. 
They laid her in the coffin, and brought it to the church. The 
minister came, as desired, and raised the cover for the old, 
wearied lady, who was lying there without rest. 

" Is my church still standing ? " she would ask with shiver- 
ing voice ; and upon the minister's answer, " It stands still ! " 
she would sigh profoundly and sorrowfully, and fall back again. 
The minister let the cover down, and came again the next 
Christmas night, and the next again, and still again the fol- 
lowing. Now there is no stone of the church left upon an- 
other, no traces of the buried dead ones. A large whitethorn 
grows here on the field, with beautiful flowers every spring, as 
if it were the sign of the resurrection of life. It is said that 
it grows on the very spot where the coffin with the noble lady 
stood, where her dust became dust of earth. 

There is an old popular saying that our Lord, when he ex- 
pelled the fallen angels, let some of them drop down upon 
the hills, where they live still, and are called " Bjergfolk 5< 
(mountain goblins), or " Trolde " (imps). They are always 
afraid, and /lee away when it thunders, which is for them a 
voice from heaven. Others fell down in the alder moors , 
they are called " Elver-folk J;i (alder folks), and among them 
the women are very handsome to look at, but not to trust ; 
their backs are also hollow, like a dough-trough. Others fell 
down in old farms and houses ; they became dwarfs and 



358 STORIES AND TALES. 

" Nisser " (elves). Sometimes they are wont to have inter 
eourse with men, and a great many very strange stories art 
related about them. 

Up in Jutland lived in a large hill such a mountain goblin, 
together with a great many other imps. One of his daughters 
was married to the smith of the village. The smith was a 
bad man, and beat his wife. At last she got tiied of it, and 
one day as he was again about to beat her, she took a horse- 
shoe and broke it over him. She possessed such immense 
strength, that she easily could have broken him in pieces too. 
He thought about it, and did not beat her any more. Yet it 
was rumored abroad, and her respect among the country- 
people was lost, and she was known as a " Trold baru " (an 
imp child). No one in the parish would have any intercourse 
with her. The mountain goblin got a hint of this ; and one 
Sunday, when the smith and his wife, together with other 
parishioners, were standing in the church-yard, waiting foi 
the minister, she looked out over the bay, where a fog was 



rising. 



" Now comes father," she said, " and he is angry ! ' He 
came, and angry he was. 

"Will you throw them to me, or will you rather do the 
catching? " he asked, and looked with greedy eyes upon the 
church-people. 

" The catching ! ' she said ; for she knew well that he 
would not be so gentle when they fell into his hands. And 
so the mountain goblin seized one after another, and flung 
them over the roof of the church, while the daughter, stand- 
ing on the other side, caught them gently. From that tim 
she got along very well with the parishioners ; they were all 
afraid of the mountain goblin, and many of that kind were 
scattered about the country. The best they could do was to 
avoid quarreling with him, and rather turn his acquaintance 
to theii profit. They knew well that the imps had big kettles 
filled with gold money, and it was certainly worth while to 
get a handful of it ; but for that they had to be cunning and 
ingenious, like the peasant of whom I am going to tell you , 
is also of his boy, who was still more cunning. 

The oeasant had a hill on his field, v/hich he would no* 



DANISH POPULAR LEGENDS. 

leave uncultivated ; he ploughed it, but the mountain goblin, 
who lived in the hill, came out and asked, 

" How dare you plough upon my roof? " 

" I did not know that it was yours ! " said the peasant ; 
" but is not advantageous for any of us to let such a piece QJ 
land lie uncultivated. Let me plough and sow ! and theij 
you reap the first year what is growing over the earth, and I 
what grows in the earth. Next year we will change." They 
agreed ; and the peasant sowed the first year carrots, and 
the second corn. The mountain goblin got the top part of 
the carrots, and the roots of the corn. In this way they lived 
in harmony together. 

But now it happened that there was to be a christening in 
the house of the peasant. The peasant was much embar- 
rassed, as he could not well omit inviting the mountain 
goblin, with whom he lived in good accord ; but if the imp 
accepted his invitation, the peasant would fall into bad repute 
with the minister and the other folk of the parish. Cunning 
as the peasant ordinarily was, this time he could not find out 
how to act. He spoke about it to his pig-boy, who was the 
more cunning of the two. 

" I will help you ! " said the boy ; and taking a large bag, 
he went out to the hill of the mountain goblin ; he knocked, 
and was let in. Then he said that he came to invite him to 
the christening. The mountain goblin accepted the invita- 
tion, and promised to come 

" I must give a christening-present, I suppose ; mustn't I ? " 

" They usually do," said the boy, and opened the bag. 
The imp poured money into it 

"Is that sufficient ? " The boy lifted the bag. 

" Most people give as much ! ' Then all the money in the 
large money kettle was poured nto the bag. 

" Nobody gives more most less." 

"Let me know, now," said the mountain goblin, " the great 
guests you are expect ; ng." 

" Three priests and one bishop," said the boy. 

" That is fine ; but such gentlemen look only for eating 
and drinking, they don't care about me. Who else conies ? " 
Mary is expected!" " Hm, hm ! but I think 



360 STORIES AND TALES. 

there will always be a little place for me behind the stove I 
Well, and then ? " 

"Well, then comes 'our Lord.'" " Hm, hm, hm! that 
was mighty ! but such highly distinguished guests usually 
come late and go away early. I shall therefore, while they 
are in, slink away a little. What sort of music shall you 
have ? " 

" Drum-music ! " said the boy ; " our Father has ordered a 
heavy thundering, after which we shall dance ! drum-music it 
shall be." 

" O, is it not dreadful ! " cried the mountain goblin. " Thank 
your master for the invitation, but I would rather stay at 
home. Did he not know, then, that thundering and drum 
are to me, and to my whole race, a horror ? Once, in my 
younger days, going out to take a walk, the thunder began to 
drum, and I got one of the drumsticks over my thigh-bone so 
that it cracked. I will not have more of that kind of music i 
Give my thanks and my greetings." 

And the boy took the bag on his back, and brought hii 
master the great riches, and the imp's friendly greetings. 



THE CHILD IN THE GRAVK 

7 MI ERE was sorrow in the house, sorrow in every heart, 
for the youngest child, a boy of four years old, the joy 
and pride of his parents, was dead. His two sisters remained, 
sweet good girls were they, but the lost child is always the 
most precious, and this was the youngest, and the only boy 
besides. It was indeed a heavy trial. The little girls grieved 
as young hearts grieve, awed by the affliction o r their parents ; 
the father's head was bowed in anguish ; but the mother 
she suffered most of all. Night and day had she hovered 
about the sick child, had nursed it, carried it about, watched 
it ; it was a part of herself ; she could not conceive that it would 
really die, must be laid in a coffin, and shut up in the dark grave. 
God could not take her child from her, she thought ; and when 
the sad certainty burst upon her mind, when her darling 
ceased to breathe and lay cold and stiff before her, she ex- 
claimed, in bitterness and agony, " God has not known it. The 
Almighty has heartless ministers here upon earth ; they do as 
they list, and will not heed a mother's prayers." 

Bitter were her words, for her heart was full of despair 
There were hours when she could not even weep ; she thought 
not of her young daughters ; her husband's tears fell upon her 
forehead, but she never looked up to him ; her thoughts were 
all with her dead child, her mind busied itself only in recalling 
sweet memories of him, his winning ways, his innocent child- 
ish prattle. 

The day of the funeral arrived. For several nights she had 
not closed her eyes ; in the early morning of this day, over 
come by weariness, she fell asleep, and during her sleep the 
coffin was carried into a chamber apart, and there, whence the 
sound of the hammer could not reach her, the lid was nailed 
down. 

She awoke, and demanded to see her child, but her husband 



362 STORIES AND TALES. 

replied with tears, " We have closed the cojfin ; there was 
choice ; it must be done." 

" If God deals hardly with me," she exclaimed, in bitter- 
ness, " how should men be otherwise than hard too ! " and 
she burst into a fit of vehement sobbing. 

The coffin was carried to the grave; the comfortless mother 
meanwhile sat with her young daughters ; she looked at them 
without seeing them, her heart had no more rest m her home, 
she gave herself up to sorrow, and it tossed her to and fro as 
the sea tosses the ship that has lost its pilot. Thus passed 
the day of the funeral ; several days followed, all spent in the 
same heavy monotony of sorrow. With streaming eyes and 
sad glances her household gazed upon her ; they would fain 
have spoken words of love and comfort, but what could that 
avail ? she would not have heeded them. 

It seemed as though she would never know sleep again, and 
yet sleep would be her best friend, would strengthen her body, 
and bring back rest to her soul ; they prevailed upon her to 
lie down in bed, and there she would lie as quietly as though 
she were actually sleeping. One night her husband listened 
to her breathing, and really believed she had at last found 
repose : he folded his hands and thanked God ; he was still 
praying when he fell into a sound sleep. And presently hi<- 
wife, seeing he was asleep, arose, dressed herself, and stealthily 
crept out of the house. She would fain seek the spot whither 
her thoughts flew night and day ; she would go to the grave 
where her child lay imprisoned. 

She stole through the garden and passed into the field be- 
yond, where a foot-path led to the church-yard. No one saw 
her ; she saw no one. 

It was a beautiful starry night, the air was mild ; it was still 
early in September. She entered the church-yard, she reached 
the little grave ; it was like one large bouquet of fragrant flowers. 
She sat down and bowed her head over the grave, as though 
through the thick covering of earth she could discern the dear 
little boy whose smile she remembered so well, that loving 
*ook in his sweet eyes as he lay on his sick-bed : and she bent 
over him and lifted the tiny hand he himself had not strengtb 
to niise, how could she ever forget it ? And now sh( sat 



THE CHILD IN THE GRAVE. 363 

beside flis grave as then beside his bed, and her tears had free 
course, they flowed fast and watered the flowers on his grave. 

Some time passed away. Was it a dream ? for a voice close 
in her ear addressed her. "What wilt thou? go down into the 
grave to thy child?" it demanded. That voice so deep, ye 
so clear, it thrilled her very soul. She looked up, and saw 
standing beside her a man wrapped in a heavy black cloak, and 
with a hood ove r his head, but she could see his face under 
the hood, and though stern, that face inspired confidencCj and 
his eyes, though grave, sparkled with the fire of youth. 

" Down to my child ! " she repeated the words in a sad 
pleading tone ; it was like the prayer of despair. 

" Darest thou follow me?" inquired the form. " For I am 
Death." 

She bowed her head in token of assent. All at once the 
thousands of stars above shone each with a splendor like that 
of the full moon, then for a moment the bright varied colors of 
the flowers on the grave glittered before her, then they too 
vanished, the surface of the earth yielded beneath her feet like 
soft hovering drapery, and she sank. Death had spread his 
black mantle over her, and all was darkness ; she sank deeper 
than the grave-digger's spade can reach ; the church-yard lay 
like a ceiling above her head. 

The long lappets of Death's black mantle fell aside, and 
she stood in a wide hall, a pleasant soothing twilight surround- 
ing her. But close to her she beheld her child, and in another 
second held him tight to her heart. He smiled on her more 
sweetly, more joyously than ever during his life-time ; she ut- 
tered a cry. but it was not audible, for the hall was filled with 
the sound of music, now swelling high and loud, now dying 
away into clear faint tones. Such blessed sounds had never 
before greeted her ears ; they seemed to proceed from the 
other side of the thick black curtain that sundered the hall 
from the vast regions of eternity. 

<" My sweet mother ! my own mother ! " said the child. It 
was the old familiar voice ; kiss followed kiss, what happi- 
ness was this for the poor mother ! But the child pointed to 
the black curtain. " Look, look ! " he cried ; " there is nothmg 
like this on earth ! see what a blessed latd ! look, d^,ur 
mother." 



364 STORIES AND TALES. 

But the mother could see nothing but black night ; she saw 
with earthly eyes, not as the child whom God had called to 
himself could see. Likewise with the music, she could hear 
the sweet tones, but could not understand the words. 

"Now I can fly, mother," said the child, "fly together with 
all the other happy children, straight into the Paradise of God. 
O, I love that so much ; but when you weep as you are weep- 
ing now, it calls me back, and I cannot fly. But may I not? 
Thou wilt be sure to come here to me in a little time, sweetest 
mother !" 

" O stay, stay," she entreated ; " only one minute longer ! 
once more let me look at thee, kiss thee, hold thee fast in my 



arms.' 



And she kissed him again and again, holding him fast the 
while. All at once her name was called overhead in such a 
sad, imploring tone ! what could it mean ? 

" O don't you hear ? " said the child : " it is father calling 
thee." 

And again, after a few seconds, she heard deep sighs, 
sighs as from the hearts of weeping children 

" My sisters ! " exclaimed the child. " O, mother, surely 
you have not forgotten them ? " 

And now she remembered those dear ones she had left in 
her home ; great fear came upon her ; she looked round and 
examined the different forms that were continually hovering 
pas:, gliding through the halls of death toward the black cur- 
tain, behind which they disappeared. She fancied she recog- 
nized some of these ; could her husband, her little girls be 
among them ? No, their cries, their sighing came from a far 
distance above her ; only she had been forgetting the living 
for the dead. 

" Mother, the bells of Paradise are ringing," said the child. 
u Mother, the sun is rising ! " 

And an overpowering light streamed forth upon her and 
lo i the child was gone, and she was lifted up. All was cold 
around her ; she lifted her head, and found herself lying in the 
church-yard among the flowers of her child's grave. But in her 
dream the Lord had become a pillar for her foot and a light 
to her understanding, and she bowed her knees and prayed. 



THE CHILD IN THE GR&VE. 365 

u O Lord my God, forgive me that I would have kept an im- 
mortal spirit from its bliss, and could forget my duties toward 
the living, loving hearts Thou hast given me here/* 

And with this prayer her heart found rest and peace. 

The sun burst forth, a little bird sang over her hsad, an. 
the church-bells began to ring for the morning service. Ligh 
surrounded her, light was again in her heart ; she felt the 
goodness of her God, she felt her own sinfulness, and, yearn- 
ing, she hurried homeward. She bent over her husband ; her 
varm, loving kiss awaked him ; they spoke together of their 
loss, and she was now calm and strong of heart, as a wife and 
mother should be, and her lips spoke words of trust and com- 
fort. " God's will is always best," she said. 

And her husband asked her, " Whence hast thou all at once 
this strength this mood of comfort ? " 

And she kissed him, and kissed her children : " Oui Lord 
gave it me in the grave with my child." 



WHAT THE GOOD-MAN DOES IS SURE TO BI 

RIGHT!" 

I AM going to tell you a story that was told to me when I 
was a little one, and which I like better and better the 
oftener I think of it. For it is with stories as with some men 
and women, the older they grow, the pleasanter they grow, 
and that is delightful ! 

Of course you have been into the country? Well, then, 
you must have seen a regularly poor old cottage. Moss and 
weeds spring up amid the thatch of the roof, a stork's nest 
decorates the chimney (the stork can never be dispensed 
with), the walls are aslant, the windows low (in fact, only 
one of them can be shut), the baking-oven projects forward, 
and an elder-bush leans over the gate, where you will see a 
tiny pond with a duck and ducklings in it, close under a 
knotted old willow-tree. Yes, and then there is a watch-dog 
that barks at every passer-by. 

Just such a poor little cottage as this was the one in my 
story, and in it dwelt a husband and wife. Few as their pos 
sessions were, one of them they could do without, and tha 
was a horse, that used to graze in the ditch beside the high- 
road. The good-man rode on it to town, he lent it to his 
neighbors, and received slight services from them in return, 
but still it would be more profitable to sell the horse, or else 
exchange it for something they could make of more frequent 
use. But which should they do ? sell, or exchange ? 

" Why, you will find out what is best, good-man," said the 
wife. " Isn't this market-day ? Come, ride off to the town 
get money, or what you can for the horse whatever you do 
is sure to be right. Make haste for the market ! " 

So she tied on his neckerchief for that was a matter she 
understood better than he she tied it with a double knot, 
and made him look quite spruce ; she dusted his hat with the 



*-WHAT THE GOOD-MAN DOES TS RIGHT!" 367 

palm of her hand ; and she kissed him and sent him off, riding 
the horse that was to be either sold or bartered. Of course, 
he would know what to do. 

The sun was hot, and not a cloud in the sky. The road 
was dusty, and such a crowd of folk passed on their way to 
market. Some in wagons, some on horseback, some on their 
Dwn legs. A fierce sun and no shade all the way. 

A man came driving a cow as pretty a cow as could he. 
"That creature must give beautiful milk," thought the peasant j 
"it would not be a bad bargain if I got that. I say, you fellow 
with the cow ! ' he began aloud ; " let's have some talk to- 
gether. Look you, a horse, I believe, costs more than a cow, 
but it is all the same to me, as I have more use for a cow 
shall we make an exchange ? " 

" To be sure ! " was the answer, and the bargain was made. 

The good-man might just as well now turn back homeward 
he had finished his business. But he had made up his mind 
to go to market, so to market he must go, if only to look on, 
so, with his cow, he continued on his way. He trudged fast, 
so did the cow, and soon they overtook a man who was lead- 
ing a sheep a sheep in good condition, well clothed with 
wool. 

" I should very much like to have that ! " thought the peas- 
ant. " It would find pasture enough by our road-side, and in 
winter we might take it into our own room. And really \\ 
would be more reasonable for us to be keeping a sheep than 
a cow. Shall we exchange ? ' : 

Yes, the man who owned the sheep was quite willing ; so 
the exchange was made, and the good-man now went on with 
his sheep. Presently there passed him a man with a big goose 
under his arm. 

" Well, you have got a heavy fellow there ! " quoth the 
peasant. " Feathers and fat in plenty ! How nicely we could 
tie her up near our little pond, and it would be something for 
the good-wife to gather up the scraps for. She has often said : 
* If we had but a goose ! ' Now she can have one and she 
shall, too! Will you exchange? I will give you my sheep 
for your goose, and say ' thank you ' besides." 

The other had no objection, so the peasant had his will and 



368 STORIES AND TALES. 

his goose. He was ^ow close to the town ; he was v/earied 

with the heat and the crowd, folk and cattle pushing patt him, 
thronging on the road, in the ditch, and close up to the turn- 
pike-man's cabbage-garden, where his one hen was tied up, 
lest in her fright she should lose her way and be carried off. 
It was a short -backed hen : she winked with one eye, crying, 
" Cluck, cluck ! " What she was thinking of I can't say, but 
what the peasant thought on seeing her, was this : " That is 
the prettiest hen I have ever seen much prettier than any 
of our parson's chickens. I should very much like to have 
her. A hen can always pick up a grain here and there can 
provide for herself. I almost think it would be a good plan 
to take her instead of the goose. Shall we exchange ? " he 
asked. " Exchange ? " repeated the owner ; " not a bad idea ! " 
So it was done ; the turnpike-man got the goose, the peasant 
the hen. 

He had transacted a deal of business since first starting on 
his way to the town ; hot was he, and wearied too ; he mfast 
have a dram and a bit of bread. He was on the point of en- 
tering an inn, when the innkeeper met him in the doorway 
swinging a sack chock-full of something. 

" What have you there ? "' asked the peasant. 

"Mellow apples," was the answer, "a whole sackful for 



swine." 



" What a quantity ! wouldn't my wife like to see so many 1 
Why, the last year we had only one single apple on the whole 
tree at home. Ah ! I wish my wife could see them I " 

" Well, what will you give me for them ? " 

" Give for them ? why, I will give you my hen." So he gave 
he hen, took the apples, and entered the inn, and going 
straight up to the bar, set his sack upright against the stove 
without considering that there was a fire lighted inside. A 
good many strangers were present, among them two English- 
men, both with their pockets full of gold, and fond of laying 
wagers, as Englishmen in stories are wont to be. 

Presently there came a sound from the stove, " Suss suss 
suss ! "' the. apples were roasting. " What is that ? " folk 
asked, and soon heard the whole history of the horse that had 
been exchanged first for a cow, and lastly for a sack of rotter* 
apples. 



WHAT THE GOOD-MAN DOES IS RIGHT!" 369 

" Well ! won't you get a good sound cuff from your wife, 
when you go home ? " said one of the Englishmen. " Some- 
thing heavy enough to fell an ox, I warn you ! " 

" I shall get kisses, not cuffs," replied the peasant. 4< Mj 
wife will say, ' Whatever the good-man does is right.' " 

" A wager ! " cried the Englishmen, " for a hundred 
pounds ? " 

" Say rather a bushelful," quoth the peasant, " and I can 
only lay my bushel of apples with myself and the good-wife, 
but that will be more than full measure, I trow." 

" Done ! ' cried they. And the innkeeper's cart was 
brought out forthwith, the Englishmen got into it, the peasant 
got into it, the rotten apples got into it, and away they sped to 
the peasant's cottage. 

" Good evening, wife." 

" Same to you, good-man." 

" Well, I have exchanged the horse, not sold it." 

" Of course," said the wife, taking his hand, and in her 
eagerness to listen noticing neither the sack nor the strangers. 

" I exchanged the horse for a cow." 

" O ! how delightful ! now we can have milk, butter, and 
cheese on our table. What a capital idea ! " 

" Yes, but I exchanged the cow for a sheep." 

" Better and better ! " cried the wife. " You are always so 
thoughtful ; we have only just grass enough for a sheep. But 
now we shall have ewe's milk, and ewe's cheese, and woolen 
stockings, nay, woolen jackets too ; and a cow would not give 
us that ; she loses all her hairs. But you are always such a 
clever fellow." 

" But the ewe I exchanged again for a goose." 

" What ! shall we really keep Michaelmas this year, good- 
mar ? You are always thinking of what will please me, and 
that was a beautiful thought. The goose can be tethered to 
the willow-tree and grow fat for Michaelmas Day." 

" But I gave the goose away for a hen," said the peasant. 

u A hen ? well, that was a good exchange," said his wife. 
* A hen will lay eggs, sit upon them, and we shall have chick- 
ens. Fancy ! a hen-yard ! that is just the thing I have alwayi 
wished for most." 

24 



37O STORIES AND TALES. 

" Ah, but I exchanged the hen for a sack of mell 3W ap- 
ples." 

" Then I must give thee a kiss," cried the wife. " Thanks, 
my own husband. And now I have something to tell. When 
you were gone I thought how I could get a right good dinner 
ready for you : omelets with parsley. Now I had the eggSj 
but not the parsley. So I went over to the schoolmaster's; 
they have parsley, I know, but the woman is so crabbed, she 
wanted something for it. Now what could I give her? noth- 
ing grows in our garden, not even a rotten apple, not even that 
had I for her ; but now I can give her ten, nay, a whole sack- 
ful. That is famous, good-man! ' : ' and she kissed him again. 

"Well done! " cried the Englishmen. "Always down hill, 
and always happy ! Such a sight is worth the money ! " And 
so quite contentedly they paid the bushelful of gold pieces to 
the peasant, who had got kisses, not cuffs, by his bargains. 

Certainly virtue is her own reward, when the wife is sure 
that her husband is the wisest man in the world, and that 
whatever he does is right. So now you have heard this old 
story that was once told to me, and I hope have learnt tha 



THE JEWISH GIRL. 

THERE was in the charity-school among the other chil 
dren a little Jewish girl, so clever and good ; the best, 
in fact, of them all ; but one of the lessons she could not at- 
tend the one when religion was taught, for this was a Chris- 
tian school. 

Then she held her geography book before her to learn from 
it, or she did her sum ; but the lesson was quickly learned, 
the sum was soon done ; the book might be there open before 
her, but she did not read, she was listening ; and the teacher 
soon noticed that she was attending more intently, even, than 
any of the rest. 

" Read your book," the teacher urged, mildly and earnestly \ 
but she looked at him with her black sparkling eyes, and 
when he put questions to her also, she knew more than all 
the others. She had listened, understood, and kept his 
words. 

Her father was a poor honest man, and when first he 
brought her to the school, he had made the stipulation that 
she should not be taught the Christian faith. To let her go 
away during the Scripture lesson might however have given 
offense, and raised thoughts of various kinds in the minds of 
the other children, and so she stayed ; but this could not go 
on any longer. 

The teacher went to her father, and told him that either 
he must take his daughter away from the school, or consent to 
her becoming a Christian. 

"I cannot bear to see those burning eyes, that yearning, 
that thirst of the soul, as it were, after the words of the gos- 
pel," said the teacher. 

And the father burst into tears. " I know but little myself 
of our own religion, but her mother was a daughter of Israel, 
of strong and firm faith, and on her dying bed I made a vow 



372 STORIES AND TALES. 

that our child should never receive Christian baptism \ thai 
row I must keep ; it is to me as a covenant with God. 

And the little Jewish girl was taken away from the school 
** the Christians. 
'ears rolled by. 

in one of the smallest towns of Jutland served as maid in a 
plain burgher's house a poor girl of the Mosaic faith ; this was 
Sarah. Her hair was black as ebony, her eyes dark^ and yet 
brilliant and full of light, such as you see among the daugh- 
ters of the East ; and the expression in the countenance of 
the grown-up girl was still that of the child who sat on the 
school-room bench, listening with thoughtful and wistful eye. 

Each Sunday sounded from the church the pealing of *"he 
organ to the song of the congregation, and the tones floated 
over the street, into the house, where the Jewish girl attended 
to her work, diligent and faithful in her calling. " Remember 
the Sabbath day to keep it holy," this was her law ; but her 
Sabbath was a day of labor to the Christians, and only in 
her heart could she keep it holy ; and that was not enough 
for her. But then the thought arose in her soul, " What mat- 
ters it before God about days and hours ; " and on the Sun- 
day of the Christians her hour of devotion remained undis- 
turbed. If, then, the organ's peal and the psalm-tunes reached 
over to her, where she stood in the kitchen, even this became 
a quiet and consecrated spot. She would read then the treas- 
ure and peculiar property of her people, the Old Testament, 
and this alone ; for she kept deep in her heart what her father 
had told the teacher and herself when she was taken from 
the school the vow made to her dying mother, " that Sarah 
should not be baptized, not forsake the faith of her fathers." 
The New Testament was, and should remain forever, a sealed 
book to her ; and yet she knew much of it ; it shone to her 
through the recollections of childhood. 

One evening she sat in a corner of the parlor, and heard her 
master reading aloud. She might listen, she thought, for this 
was not the gospel ; nay ! 'twas out of an old story-book he 
read : she might stay. And he read of a Hungarian knight, 
taken captive by a Turkish pasha, who had him yoked with 
oxen to the plough ; and he was driven with lashes, and had 
to suffer pain and ignominy beyond endurance. 



THE JEWISH GIRL. 373 

But at home the knight's wife sold all her jewelsj and mort 
gaged castle and lands, and his friends contributed large sums, 
for enormous was the ransom demanded ; still it was raised, 
and he was delivered out of thralldom and disgrace. Sick and 
suffering, he came to his home. But soon resounded far and 
near the summons to war against the foe of Christianity. 
The sick mar. heard the call, and had neither peace nor rest 
any longer ; he was placed on his charger ; the blood came 
again to his cheeks, his strength seemed to return, and he 
rode forth to victory. The very pasha who had him yoked 
to ihe plough, and made him suffer pain and scorn, became 
his captive, lie was carried home to the castle dungeon, but 
before his first hour there had elapsed the knight came, and 
asked the prisoner, u What dost thou think awaiteth thee ? " 

" I know," said the Turk ; " retribution." 

" Yes, the Christian's retnbution," said the knight. " " Christ 
taught us to forgive our enemies, to love our fellow-men. God 
is love ! Depart in peace to thy home and thy dear ones, and 
be gentle and good to those who suffer." 

Then the prisoner burst into tears. 

" How could I believe such a thing could be possible ? Tor- 
ments and sufferings I looked forward to as a certainty, and I 
took poison, which must kill me ; within a few hours I shall 
die. There is no remedy. But before I die make known to 
me the faith that embraces such an amount of love and mercy; 
it is great and divine ! In it let me die ; let me die a Chris- 
tian ! ' and his prayer was granted. 

This was the legend, the history which was read ; they all 
istened to it with attention, but deepest sank it into the heart 
of her who sat alone in the corner the servant-maid Sa- 
i ah, the Jewess. Heavy tears stood in her black sparkling 
eyes while she sat here, as once on the school-bench, and felt 
the greatness of the gospel. The tears rolled down her 
cheeks. 

rt Let not my child become a Christian ! were the mother's 
last words on her dying bed, and they rang through her soul 
with those of the law, ft Honor thy father and thy mother ! ' 

<( Still I have not been baptized ! they call me ' the Jewess ; ' 
the neighbors' boys did so, hooting at me last Sunday as I 



374 



STOR7ES AND TALES. 



stood outside the open church door, and looked in where th 
altar-lights burned and the congregation sang. Ever sinc 
my school-days, up to this hour even though I have tried to 
close my eyes against it a power from Christianity has like 
a sunbeam shone into my heart. But, my mother, I will not 
give thee sorrow in thy grave ! I will not betray the vow my 
father made to thee ; I will not read the Christian's Bible. 
Have not I the God of my fathers ? On Him let me rest my 
head ! " 

And years rolled by. 

The husband died, the wife was left behind in hard plight 
Now she could no longer afford to have a maid ; but Sarah 
did not forsake the widow ; she became her help in distress, 
and kept the household together; she worked till late in 
the night, and got bread for the house by the labor of her 
hands. There were no near relatives to help a family where 
the mother grew w r eaker each day, lingering for months on a 
bed of sickness. Sarah, gentle and pious, watched, nursed, 
and worked, and became the blessing of the poor home. 

" There lies the Bible," said the invalid ; " read to me this 
wearisome evening ; I sadly want to hear God's word." 

And Sarah bowed her head ; she folded her hands round 
the Bible, which she opened, and read aloud to the sick 
woman ; now and again the tears welled forth, but her eyes 
shone clearer, even as the darkness cleared from her soul. 
" Mother, thy child shall no~ receive the baptism of the Chris- 
tians, shall not be named in their communion ; in this we 
will be united here on earth, but above this there is is 
a greater unity even in God. ' He goes with us beyond 
the grave ; ' ' It is He who pours water upon him that is 
thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground.' I understand it 1 
I do not know myself how I came to it ! through Him it is 
in Him Christ!" 

And she trembled as she named the holy name ; a baptism 
Df fire streamed through her. stronger than her frame could 
bear, and she bent down, more powerless even than she by 
whom she watched. 

" Poor Sarah!' they said ; "she is worn out with label 
and watching." 



THE JEWISH GIRL. 375 

They took her to the hospital for the poor ; there she died t 
thence she was borne to her grave ; not to the Christians' 
grave-yard ; that was not the place for the Jewish girl : no, 
outside, by the wall, her grave was dug. 

And God's sun, which shone upon the graves of the Chris- 
tians, shines also upon that of the Jewish girl ; and the hymna 
which are sung by the graves of the Christians resound by 
her grave beyond the wall ; thither, too, reaches the promise ; 
" There is resurrection in Christ, in Him, the Saviour, who aaid 
to his disciples, ' John truly baptized with water ; but ye 
be baptized with the Holy Ghost* " 




TWO BROTHERS. 

N one of the Danish islands, where ancient judgment 
seats loom up mid the cornfields, and mighty trees lift 
their heads in the beech forests, lies a little town, with red roofa 
over the low houses. In one of these curious matters were be- 
ing prepared over the coals and embers on the hearth : there 
was testing in crucibles ; there was triturating and distilling ; 
there was pounding of drugs in mortars : an old man stood 
over the whole. 

" One must rightly combine the right matters," said he ; 
" yea, the right, the fitness, the truth in each created thing, we 
are to recognize and hold." 

In the chamber, by the good good- worn an of the house, sat 
two sons of hers, yet young, but with grown thoughts. Of 
right and reason had the mother ever counseled them ; and to 
hold fast to truth, which is the face of God made visible on 
earth. 

The elder of the boys seemed arch and pert: his delight 
was, to read of nature's laws, of suns and stars no tale could 
give him better joy. O, what bliss, to go on journeys of dis- 
covery, or to contrive to imitate birds' wings, and fly ! yea, 
that were the true thing to find ! Father was right, and so 
was mother : 'tis truth doth hold the world in shape. 

The younger brother was of a quieter mind, and lived but 
n his books: did he read of Jacob, how he clad himself 
,n sheepskins to resemble Esau and therewith to wrong him 
of his right of birth, in anger the boy clinched his little 
hand, vexed at the fraud ; did he read of tyrants, and the wrong 
and misrule that reign in the earth, tears filled his eye. 
Thought of the right and of truth, that ought and were to tri- 
umph, swayed him mightily. One night the little one had 
gone to bed ; but the curtains hung awry, and let in some 
light upon him, by which he lay with book in hand, and read 
to end the history of Solon. 



TWO BROTHERS. 377 

And thought did lift and bear him strangely on . 'twas as if 
the couch had grown into a vessel under sail was he dream- 
ing? or what meant it else ? He glided over rolling billows, 
coursing swift athwart the sea of ages : his ear caught Solon's 
voice, proclaiming, in the stranger's tongue, and yet the 
boy did understand, the Danish motto: "Justice buil ieth 
up a land." 

And the Genius of Humanity stood in the midst of the lowly 
chamber, bowed over the boy, and left a kiss upon his brow : 
" Be strong in glory, and strong in the battle's heat : with 
truth fixed in thy breast, go forth on thy way unto the home of 
truth ! " 

The elder brother was not yet abed ; he stood at the win- 
dow, gazing out upon the mists that arose from the plain : they 
were not elves, a-dancing over yonder ; the old nurse, 'tis 
true, had taught him so; but he knew better: they were 
vapors, warmer than the air ; and hence they rose. A shoot- 
ing-star lit up the sky ; and the boy's thoughts were instantly 
gathered up from the mists of earth, into the region of the 
shining meteor. The stars twinkled in the firmament, and 
it was as if golden threads were floating from them to the 
earth. 

" Come with me ! '" it sang and rang in the boy's heart ; and 
the Race's mighty Genius bore him swifter far than bird or 
arrow, or aught of earth that flies out into Space, where ray 
on ray from star to star bound all the rolling globes to one 
another; the earth was spinning in the rare empyrean, city 
crowding close on city. Through the spheres resounded, 

" What is space, and where is distance, while the lofty sprite 
of Thought bears thee on high ? " 

And again the youth was at the window, peering forth, and 
the younger brother lay abed ; and their mother called (Jhera 
by their names : " Andrew and Hans Christian ! " 

Denmark knoweth them, the world knows both the brothers, 
OUSTED. 



THE OLD CHURCH-BELL. 

IN the German land of Wurtemburg, where the acacia trees 
bloom luxuriantly by the way-side, and apple and pear irees 
bend in autumn with the burden of ripe fruit, lies the little 
town of Marbach ; it is small and insignificant, but beautiful!/ 
situated near the Neckar, that flows rapidly past towns and 
vineyards and old baronial castles, to join its waters with those 
of the mighty Rhine. 

It was late in the year, the vine tendrils were covered with 
red leaves, and gusty showers and chilly winds were increasing. 
This was not a pleasant time for poor people. The days were 
dark, but it was darker still within the small old houses. One 
of these stood with its gable end toward the street ; the win- 
dows were small, it was poor and plain in appearance ; and 
poor as the dwelling were those who dwelt within, but honest 
and industrious, and love and fear of God was in their hearts' 
treasury. One child more God was about to give them , the 
hour had come when they expected it, and the mother lay in 
pain and suffering. Then pealed from rhe church-tower the 
deep joyful sound of chiming bells. It was a festival day, and 
the solemn sound of the bell filled the heart of the sufferer with 
faith and devotion ; she lifted her heart in fervent prayer to 
God, and in that same moment her little son was born ; but 
she felt happy beyond words. The bell from the church-tower 
seemed to peal forth her joy over town and country. Two 
bright child-eyes looked at her, and the baby's hair shone like 
goid. On that dark November day had her child been wel 
corned into the world by the chiming bells ; the mother and 
father kissed it, and wrote in their Bible," "The loth of No> 
'/ember, 1759, God gave us a son," and added afterward, "he 
received at his baptism the names Johann Christoph Fried 
ich " 

And what became of the little fellow, the poor boy from the 
small town cf Marbach ? 



THE OLD CHURCH-BELL. 379 

At that time nobody knew not even the old church-bell, 
however high it was placed, and though it had first rung and 
ung for him who should one day sing the most beautiful 
" Lay of the Bell." 

And the little one grew, and the world grew larger before 
him ; the parents removed to another town, but dear friendf 
of theirs still stayed behind in little Marbach ; and so it cam 
to pass that mother and son one day went there on a visit. 
The bo} was as yet only six years old, but he already knew parts 
of the Bible, and the pious old hymns ; many an evening had 
he sat on his little cane stool and listened when his father read 
aloud of Gellert's Fables and Klopstock's "Messiah," and 
burning tears had he and his sister shed when they heard of 
Him who suffered death on the cross on Golgotha, that He 
might save us. 

At the time of their first visit to Marbach, the town had not 
much changed, and, indeed, it was not very long since they 
had left it. The houses stood exactly as before, with pointed 
gables, sloping walls, and small windows ; but in the church- 
yard were new graves ; and there, low among weeds, close by 
the wall, lay the old church-bell ; it had fallen from its high 
position ; it had got a flaw, and could ring no longer, and a 
new one had replaced it. 

The mother and son had entered the church-yard ; they stood 
still before the old bell, and the mother told her little boy how 
this bell through hundreds of years had been useful ; it had 
pealed at baptisms, and happy weddings, and at funerals. Its 
peals had told of joy and of the horrors of fire ; yes, the bell's 
song comprehended a whole human life. 

The boy never forgot what his mother on that day told him ; 
it sounded within his breast till, when grown to be a man, he 
could pour it out in song. And the mother told him how this 
old bell had pealed to her comfort and joy in her hour of trial, 
had rung and sung when her little boy was given her. But the 
child looked almost with awe at the great old bell, and he 
stooped over it, and kissed it, as it lay there, old and broken, 
and thrown away among nettles and rank weeds. 

And it lingered in the memory of the little boy, \vho shot up 
in ooverty, tall and thin, and wi h reddish hair and freckled 



STORIES AND TALES. 

f ace yes, that's what he looked like ; but he had a piir of 
eyes, clear and blue as the deep water. And how did it fare 
with him ? Well, he had been fortunate, enviably fortunate I 
He had been graciously received in the military school, and 
even in the division where great people's children were ; this 
was ai honor, a piece of good fortune ; and he wore top-boots, 
a cravat, and a powdered wig, while he got learning on the 
march halt-right-about-face system. This, indeed, might lead 
to something ! 

The old. church-bell, hidden and forgotten, would some day 
no doubt go into the smelting furnace : and what next would be- 
come of it ? Well, that was impossible to say, and no one could 
tell either what would come out of the bell within the young 
man's breast. There was a seething within him ; it rang and 
echoed, it must sound forth into the wide world, and the more 
cramped the space within the school walls, the more deafening 
the sound of " march ! halt ! right-about face ! "' the stronger 
rang it within the youth's breast ; and what he felt he sang to 
his comrades, and it resounded far beyond the boundaries of 
the land. But it was not for this he had got admission to the 
school, and board and clothes. He was already numbered as 
a screw in the great watchwork to which we all belong, as use- 
ful matter-of-fact pieces. How imperfectly do we understand 
ourselves, however, and how then shall others, even the best, 
always understand us ? But it is the pressure that forms the 
precious stone. The pressure was here ; in the course of time 
would the world recognize the precious stone ? 

There was a great festival in the capital of the country. 
Thousands of lamps shone, and rockets sparkled ; that spl^i - 
dor is still remembered remembered because of him who 
then in tears and sorrow tried unnoticed to escape across h s 
o^n country. Far away must he go from his native land, froi.i 
mother and dear ones, or perish in the stream of commonplace 
*ife 

- I tC. 

The old bell was well off ; it lay in the shelter of the churc!: 
wall of Marbach, hidden and forgotten ! The wind swept ovei 
t, and the wind could have raid of him at whose birth the 
bell had rung ; could have told how coldly it had blown upon 
him, when, weary and exhausted, he sank down in a forest it 



THE OLD CHURCH-BELL. 381 

the neighboring country, and ail his treasures, all his hopes for 
the future, were a few written pages of " Fiesco ; " the wind 
could have told how his only patrons all artists, indeed 
stole away, while he read it aloud, to amuse themselves at 
skittles. The wind could have told of the pale fugitive who 
lived for weeks and months in the poor inn, where the host 
was brawling and drinking, and wild merriment was going oft 
while he wrote of the Ideal. Hard days, dreary days ! The 
heart must itself suffer and realize what it would sing to ths 



Dark days and coM nights passed over the old bell ; it felt 
them not ; but the bell within the human breast, that feels 
hard times: how fared that young man? and how fared the 
old bell ? Well, the bell went far away, farther than its peals 
could ever have been heard from its lofty tower ; the young 
man, yes, the bell within his breast sounded afar into distant 
lands, which his eye should never see, his foot never tread ; it 
sounded and resounded away over the ocean and through the 
wide world. First you must hear about the bell. It was taken 
away from Marbach, was sold for old metal, and was now to 
go into a smelting furnace in the land of Bavaria. But how 
and when did it come hither ? Yes, let the bell say it if it can ; 
it is not of much consequence ; but certain is it that it came 
to the capital of Bavaria. Many years had passed since it 
fell from the tower ; now it was to be melted down, and to go to 
the casting of a great and glorious monument, a statue of one 
of Germany's great men. Now listen and hear how strange 
and beautiful things may happen in this world ! In Denmark^ 
on one of the green islands, where the beech-tree grows, and 
there are many old cairns, there was once a poor little boy, 
\vho used to wear wooden shoes, and carry the meals, wrapped 
in a small napkin, to his father, who was working on the 
wharves at carving figure-heads for ships. This poor child had 
become his country's pride, and carved in marble beauties at 
which the world wondered ; and he it was to whom now the 
noble task was given to mould of clay a form of grandeur and 
beauty that was to be cast in bronze the statue of him whose 
name the father wrote in the Bible Johann Christoph Fried 
rich. 



382 STORIES AND TALES. 

And the bronze streamed glowing into the mould. Tb* 
church-bell ah ! nobody thought of its home, or of its chimes 
and peals that had died away long ago the bell, too, flowed 
into the mould, and became the head and the breast of the 
statue that stands now unveiled before the old palace. There 
it stands, on the place where he whom it represents walked 
while alive, amid struggles and strife, oppressed by the world 
around him he, the boy from Marbach ; the pupil from the 
Carl's school, the fugitive ; Germany's great immortal poet, 
who sang of the liberator of Switzerland, and the divinely in- 
spired Maid of France. 

It was a splendid sunny day ; flags waved from towers and 
roofs in the royal town of Stuttgart. The bells chimed for joy 
and festival; one bell alone was silent ; but it shone in the 
bright sunlight, it shone from the breast and the countenance 
of that noble foim. A hundred years had passed away since 
the day when in Marbach's church-tower it chimed joy and 
comfort to the suffering mother, who in that lowly house bore 
her poor little boy one day to be the rich man, who would 
give the world treasures which it calls blessed, he the heart- 
stirring poet of noble women, the glorious singer of what is 
great and beautiful, JOHANN CHRISTOPH FRIEDRICH SCHISM 
UUL 



THE LAST PEARL. 

WE are in a rich, a happy house ; all are cheerful and 
full of joy, master, servants, and friends of the fam- 
ily ; for on this day an heir, a son had been born, and mother 
and child were doing exceedingly well. 

The burning lamp in the bed-chamber had been partly 
shaded, and the windows were guarded by heavy curtains of 
some costly silken fabric. The carpet was thick and soft as 
a mossy lawn, and everything invited to slumber was charm- 
ingly suggestive of repose ; and the nurse found that, for she 
slept ; and here she might sleep, for everything was good and 
blessed. The guardian spirit of the house leaned against the 
head of the bed ; over the child at the mother's breast there 
spread as it were a net of shining stars in endless number, 
and each star was a pearl of happiness. All the good stars of 
life had brought their gifts to the new-born one ; here sparkled 
health, wealth, fortune, and love in short, everything that 
man can wish for on earth. 

" Everything has been presented here," said the guardian 
Spirit. 

" No, not everything," said a voice near him, the voice of 
the child's good Angel. " One fairy has not yet brought her 
gift ; but she will do so some day ; even if years should 
elapse first, she will bring her gift. The last pearl is yet 
wanting. " 

( ' Wanting ! here nothing may be wanting ; and if it should 
be the case, let me go and seek the powerful fairy ; let us be- 
take ourselves to her ! ' 

" She will come ! she will not fail ! her pearl must be given 
to bind the wreath together ! " 

" But where dwells she ? Where is her home ? tell me, 
that I may go and fetch the pearl." 

f< Wilt thou have it so ? '' said the child's guardian Angel 



384 STORIES AND TALES. 

" Well, then, I will show thee where she must be sought. But 
she has no abiding-place : she visits now the emperor's palace, 
now the poorest peasant-cot, and everywhere she leaves her 
trace behind her ; to all she brings her gift, be it a world 01 a 
plaything ; this child, too, she will not forget. But as thou 
canst not wait, well, we will go and fetch the pearl, the Last 
Pearl needed to complete this wealth of gifts." 

So hand in hand the spirits flew to the spot which was in 
that hour the fairy's home. 

It was a large house, with dark passages, empty chambers, 
all strangely still ; a whole row of windows stood wide open, 
so that the fresh air should stream in, and the long white cur- 
tains moved and shook in the wind. 

On the floor lay an open coffin, within it rested the corpse 
of a woman, still in her prime of life ; she was covered with a 
profusion of the loveliest, freshest roses, so as to leave visible 
only the folded white hands and the noble earnest counte- 
nance, wearing the high and spiritual beauty of Death. 

Her husband and children surrounded the corpse, the young- 
est clinging to his father's arm. They had come to bid the 
last " farewell," and her husband kissed for the last time the 
hand which was now like a withered leaf, but which had once 
clasped his in warmth of life and love. Large salt tears fell 
in heavy drops upon the floor, but not a word was spoken. 
The silence expressed a world of grief; silent and sobbing 
they left the chamber. 

A lighted candle burnt in the room ; the flame strove with 
the wind and shot up his long red tongue. Strangers entered 
the room, closed the lid over the coffin, hammered in the nails 
so strangely resounded the hammer-strokes through the si- 
lent spaces of the house ! so bitterly they smote upon the 
bleeding hearts within it ! 

" Whither wouldst thou lead me ? " inquired the Guardian of 
the household. " No fairy can dwell here, no precious pearl 
among the rare gifts of life." 

" yes, she dwells here, in this very spot, in this holy hour/ 1 
said the child's Angel, pointing into a corner where in the 
very seat once occupied, amid flowers and pictures, by the 
dead mother, whence she, the sunbeam of the house, once dif 



THE LAST PEARL. 385 

fused happiness and love around her now sat a strange 
womaii clad in long, heavy robes. It was Sorrow, and she 
ruled here in the mother's place. A scalding tear rolled 
down upon her lap ; it became a pearl, it sparkled with all the 
hues of the rainbow, and as the angel caught it up it shone 
with the sevenfold lustre of a star. 

" The Pearl of Sorrow, that is the Last Pearl that cannot, 
IE List not be lacking ! through which the light and splendor 
of all other gifts are augmented. Behold in it a reflection of 
the rainbow, which unites earth with heaven. In the place of 
each of our beloved ones who die to us on earth we gain one 
friend more to welcome us in Paradise. When the night is 
daik we look up toward the stars, toward infinity! and en- 
folded in Sorrow's Pearl lie the wings of Psyche that 
feear us hence away ! ' 

as 



THE BISHOP OF BORGLUM AND HIS KINDRED^ 

WE are now in Jutland, near the Wild Marsh; we caa 
hear the roar of the Atlantic Ocean, rolling hard by j 
in front of us rises a great sand hill, and we are driving toward 
it, slowly driving through the deep sand. An old, large, ram- 
bling building crowns this sand hill : it is Borglum Monas- 
tery ; the largest wing is the church. It is late evening by 
the time we have ascended the hill, but the air is clear, the 
nights are bright, and we can still enjoy a prospect far and 
wide, over meadow and moor as far as Aalborg Fiord, over 
field and heath, till they are bounded by the dark-blue ocean. 

We are on the hill, we drive on through barn and shed, 
then turn round and pass through the gates, on toward the 
old castle-court, where lime-trees stand in a row along the 
walls ; here they get shelter from wind and weather, they 
thrive, and their leafy branches almost hide the windows. 

We ascend the winding stone staircase ; we tread the long 
corridors, under a ceiling of wood-work ; the wind whistles 
round us with strange, wild notes, both within and with- 
out the building, and we begin to tell each other tales of the 
past such tales as one remembers when feeling half- fright 
ened. The forms of murdered men seem to our fancy to 
glide silently past us ; the wild wind, as it rushes through the 
church, still seems to sing mass' for their souls ; the mind is 
thrown back into the days of old, pictures them, lives in them. 



There is a wreck upon the coast; the Bishop's men are 
busy down on the shore ; the sea has spared some, but they 
spare none, and the water will wash away all trace of the 
crimson blood. The stranded goods and there are many 
all belong to the Bishop. The waves cast on the shore 
goodly barrels filled with costly wines, meet for the monks 
cellars, though these are already well furnished with ale and 



THE BISHOP OF BORGLUM AVD HIS K1ADRED. 387 

mead ; there is no lack of stores for the wintei in theii 
kitchens, and the ponds outside harbor abundance of fish. 
The Bishop of Borglum is a man of might ; he has lands in 
plenty, but he would fain have more ; all must give way be- 
fore Bishop Oluf. A rich kinsman of his, at Thy, is just dead ; 
neither kin nor kind to her will the widow find Bishop Oluf 
Glob. Hei late husband held rule over the whole district 
saving only the convent lands ; her son is in foreign parts, 
having been sent away, at his own wish, when a mere boy, to 
learn foreign customs ; for some years no tidings have come 
from him perchance he may be in his grave, may nevei 
return home to take the rule, which now his mother must 
assume. 

" How now ! shall a woman rule ? ' : asks the Bishop. He 
cites her before the courts ; but to what purpose ? She has 
done nothing against the law, she has right and justice on her 
side. 

Bishop Oluf of Borglum, what ponderest thou ? what writest 
thou on the white parchment ? What is it that, sealed by the 
episcopal signet, thou givest in charge to knights and squires, 
who ride away, bearing it out of the country, to the pope's 
own city ? 

The fall of the leaf, the season of storms and wrecks, is 
past ; icy winter follows. Twice has it returned without 
bringing tidings from abroad ; but this third time it brings 
back the knights and squires, who bear a letter from the pope, 
excommunicating the bold widow who dared oppose the 
Bishop. An interdict is laid upon her lands, a curse upon 
herself. Cast out must she be from church and congregation \ 
no one shall dare to lend her a helping hand, friends and 
kinsfolk must shun her as though she were a leper. All fall 
off from her; but she holds fast her trust in God, who will 
yet be her strength and bulwark. And one among her ser- 
vants, one faithful maiden, keeps by her side ; and together 
they guide the plough over fields where the corn stiJl flour- 
ishes, though the land has been cursed. 

Seven years has she spent thus in poverty, Jabor, and deso- 
lation, still the Bishop is not content : he calls upon her to 
yield up her lands to him. She has two oxen left ; she har- 



388 STORIES AND TALES. 

nesses them to her carriage, and she and her faithful hand 
maiden drive away over the heath, out of Danish land. Sh 
is now a stranger among strange people, speaking an unknown 
tongue, and surrounded by foreign ways and customs. She 
drives on ; instead of green hills mountains rise around her, 
and vineyards instead of beech groves. Travelling mei chants 
pass by, carefully watching their heavily-laden wagons, and 
in dire dread of an attack from robber-knights. But the two 
poor women, in their miserable equipage, drawn by two black 
oxen, may pass securely along the lonely roads, through the 
thick forests. They are now in France ; they meet a stately 
knight, followed by twelve mail-clad men ; the knight gazes 
in surprise upon this strange conveyance, and asks the 
younger of the women whence they come, and whither they 
are journeying ; she explains that they come from Thy, in 
Denmark, tell-s the story of her woes, and, behold ! how won- 
derfully has Providence guided her steps ! the stranger knight 
rs her son ! He holds out his hand, he embraces her, and 
the poor mother weeps years have past since she has wept. 

It is the fall of the leaf, the season of wrecks ; the sea 
washes wine-casks ashore for the Bishop's cellars ; in his 
kitchen the wild deer is roasting ; it is pleasant and warm 
within doors, while winter freezes without. But tidings are 
brought ; Jens Glob has returned to Thy with his mother 
Jens Glob calls upon the Bishop to cede to him his lands and 
his rights. 

" Much good may it do him ! " quoth the Bishop. " Leave 
the quarrel alone, Knight Jens ! ' 

Another year has passed : again returns the fall of the leaf, 
the season of wrecks ; freezing winter follows, and the white 
bees are swarming, stinging the traveller's face. A sharp day, 
say those who have been out of doors. Jens Glob, who keeps 
at home, close to the fire, stands lost in thought, singes his 
dress, burns a hole in it unawares. " For all this, I will mas- 
ter thee yet, Bishop of Borglum ! Thou art safe from the law, 
sheltered by the pope's mantle, but not safe from Jens Glob ! ' 
He writes a letter to his brother-in-law, Sir Oluf Hase of Sail- 
ing, bidding him meet him on Christmas Eve at Hoidberg 
Church ; the bishop has to read mass there, and must there* 
tore leave Borglum for Thyland. 



THE BISHOP OF BORGLUM AND HIS KINDRED. 389 

Meadow and moor lie buried under ice and snow ; over 
them speed horse and horseman, the whole cavalcade, tnc 
Bishop, his clerks, and his squires ; they take the short-cut, 
among the reeds, where the wind sings such a doleful song. 
Blow thy brass trumpet, thou fur-clad minstrel ! it sounds 
pleasantly in the clear air. On they ride, over heath and 
moor, where Fata Morgana dresses her magic bowers in the 
warm summer-time ; on they ride, southward, toward Hoid- 
berg Church. 

The wind blows his trumpet louder and louder ; a terrible 
storm is rising. On, on through the storm, over meadow and 
moor, fiord and river. The house of God stands secure amid 
the storm ; the bishop will reach it surely that can hardly 
Sir Oluf Hase, keenly though he ride ; he tarries on the 
opposite side of the fiord with his men, whom Jens Glob has 
summoned to aid him in calling the Bishop to his account. 
God's own house is the court of justice : the lights are kin- 
dled in the heavy brass candlesticks ; the storm without 
screams out his sentence, his doom. A cry thrills through 
the air, over moor and heath, over the rolling roaring billows. 

Meantime, Oluf Hase is detained at Otto Sound ; no ferry- 
boat can cross the fiord in such a hurricane. So he dismisses 
his men, bids them keep horse and armor, and take his fare- 
well to his wife ; alone will he risk his life in the raging flood ; 
they must be his witnesses that it is not his fault if Jens Glob 
should stand unsupported in Hoidberg Church. But his 
faithful squires will not be thus dismissed, they will follow him 
ini.o the dangerous waters. Ten of them are washed away by 
the tide ; Oluf Hase himself and his two youngest squired 
reach the opposite shore in safety ; they have still four miles 
to ride. 

It is past midnight; it is Christmas Eve. The wind has 
abated ; the church is lighted up, the lights shine through the 
panes over meadow and heath. The service is ended ; the 
house of God is so still that the wax can be heard dropping 
from the candles to the stones of the floor. Oluf Hase ar- 
rives. 

Jens Glob meets him in the porch. " Good-day ! you are 
fate ! the Bishop and I are reconciled now 1 " 



390 STORIES AND TALES. 

" Are you so ? " replies Oluf. " Then shall neither & 
Bishop nor thou leave the church alive ! " 

And Oluf's sword flashes out of its sheath, and splits the 
church's wooden door, which Jens Glob has placed between 
them, in two. " Hold, dear brother-in-law ! see first what 
sort of reconciliation is this ! I have slain the Bishop an 1 all 
his men. Not one of them will wag his tongue again, and 
not a word more need be spoken of the wrongs done to my 
mother." 

The wax-lights on the altar burn red, but a redder light 
shines from the church-floor ; there lie, with cloven skulls, 
and weltering in their blood, the Bishop and all his train. It 
is the holy eve of Christmas, and all is hushed and still. 

But on the third evening after Christmas Day the funeral 
bells are tolling in Borglum Convent. The murdered Bishop 
and his squires are laid out in state under a black canopy, 
lighted by candelabra swathed in crape ; robed in a mantle 
bordered with silver, the crosier in his powerless hand, lies 
the corpse, the once mighty lord. Incense fills the air, the 
monks sing a funeral dirge ; sadly, bitterly, it rises up, is 
caught up by the wind, repeated, borne over the whole coun- 
try. Sometimes the wild, accusing voice sinks to rest a while, 
but it never dies out, always it rises up again, singing its dis- 
mal strains late into our own century, singing of the unjust 
Bishop and his cruel kinsman. On many a dark night the 
timid peasant hears it, as he drives past Borglum Convent 
through the heavy sandy road ; the sleepless listener within 
Borglum's thick walls hears it too. The church door has 
long been walled up ; but to the eyes of the superstitious the 
door is seen to open, the lights stream out from the brass 
crowns, the church stands in its ancient splendor, filled with 
the smoke of incense, and the monks still sing mass for the 
murdered Bishop, who lies there in his silver-edged robe, with 
the crosier in his hand, while from his pale proud forehead 
hines the bloody wound, red like fire ! A sad picture of the 
evil passions that make this world so desolate ! 

Sink into the grave, sink into the night of oblivion, ye di 
mal memories of a barbarous past ! 



THE BISHOP OF BORGLUM AND HIS KINDRED. 391 

Listen to the voice of the wind, as it sweeps across the roll 
ing sea ! A storm is raging without, that will cost many 
lives : the sea has not changed its nature because the times 
ak'e changed. To-night it is as it were all mouths to devour; 
to-morrow perhaps it will be as it were all eyes to mirror one- 
self in just as in the old times we have now banished from 
Our thoughts. O ! be merciful, if thou canst, old Sea ! 

Morning comes ; the sun shines into our rooms, the wind 
Still blows ; there are tidings of a wreck, as in old time. Last 
night, down by Lokken, the little fishing-town with red roofs 
that we can see from our windows, a ship was wrecked. But 
the boatmen made a bridge between the wreck and the landj 
all on board were saved, were brought to land, had beds 
found for them ; to-day they are invited to Borglum Convent. 
In these comfortable rooms they will find a hospitable wel- 
come, meet friendly faces, hear kind voices, speaking their 
own language, and songs of their own land. And the tele- 
graph will announce to the relatives of the shipwrecked, in 
their own home, that they are saved ; so now their hearts are 
light, and gayly will they tread the dance this evening in the 
chambers of Borglum. 

Blessed be thou, new, better age ! bring a fresh and puri- 
fied current of air through our towns ! let thy sunbeams shine 
into our hearts and minds ! bring us thoughts of gladness, 
that the dark traditions of the cruel times of old may pa*a 
way like a dream I 



THE STORM MOVES 'iHE SIGN-BOARDS. 

IN olden times, when Grandfather was quite a little boy and 
wore red trousers and a red jacket, with a sash round his 
waist, and a feather in his cap for thus in his childhood 
little boys were dressed when they were very smart so many 
things were different from what they are now. There were 
often pageants in the street such ones as we do not see 
nowadays, for these things are abolished : they became so 
old-fashioned ; but pleasant it is to hear ' Grandfather tell of 
them. 

It must indeed have been a show when the shoemakers 
moved sign-boards, when they changed Corporation Hall. 
On their waving silk banner were painted a large boot and a 
two-headed eagle; the younger journeymen, with red and 
white ribbons fluttering down from their shirt-sleeves, carried 
the welcome-cup and the box ; the older ones wore drawn 
swords with lemons on the points. There was a full band, 
but the finest of all the instruments was "the Bird," as Grand- 
father called the long pole with the half-moon, with all its 
ringing, tingling, and dangling things real Turkish music, 
It was lifted and swung, and it almost hurt the eyes to look a* 
it when the sun shone upon all that gold, silver, and brass. 

Before the procession ran Harlequin, in clothes made of 
patches of every possible color, and with black face, and bells 
on his head just like a sledge-horse ; and he beat the people 
vith his wand, that smacked without hurting, and they squeezed 
lach other to get onward ; little boys and girls fell over their 
own legs straight down into the gutters ; while old dames el 
bowed their way, looking cross and scolding. Some laughed, 
others chatted ; there were people on the steps and in the 
windows nay, even on the roofs. The sun shone ; now and 
then, indeed, a little rain fell, but that was a good thing foi 
the farmer , and even if enough fell to make the people wring 
ing wet, why that was a true blessing to the land. 



THE STORM MOVES THE SIGN-BOARDS. 



393 



Ah ! what things Grandfather could tell ! He had, when a 
little boy seen all that grand show in its fullest splendor. The 
oldest journeyman of the Corporation delivered a speech from 
the scaffold where the sign-board was hung out; the speech 
ran in verses just like a piece of poetry, which, indeed, it 
was ; there had been three about it, and before making it, 
they had drunk a whole bowl of punch, so that it might be 
really good. And the people gave cheers for the speech, but 
still more cheers for the Harlequin when he appeared on the 
scaffold and mimicked the speaker. The fool did his foolery 
so capitally, and drank mead from dram-glasses, which he 
then flung out among the people, who grasped them in the air. 
Grandfather had one of them, which the mortar-mixer had 
caught and given him. It was fun, indeed. And the sign- 
board hung, with flowers and wreaths, on the new Corporation 
Hall. 

Such a sight, one never forgets, however old one becomes, 
Grandfather said ; and he, indeed, never forgot it, though af- 
terward he saw much show and grandeur and knew how to 
tell about it; but funniest of all it was, when he told of the 
moving of the sign-boards in the great city. 

Grandfather had been there with his parents while he was a 
little boy ; and that was the first time he saw the largest town 
of the country. 

Such a number of people were in the streets, that he thought 
the " Moving of the Sign-boards ' was just then going on ; 
and there were many sign-boards to be moved : one might 
have filled hundreds of rooms with these pictures if they had 
been hung up inside instead of out-doors. Thus, there were 
all kinds of garments painted where the tailors lived ; they 
could change people till they became genteel instead of vul- 
gar. There were tobacconists' sign-boards with the most 
charming little boys, smoking cigars, just as they do in reality ; 
there were sign-boards with butter and red herrings, clergy- 
men's ruffs, and coffins ; and besides there were other sign- 
boards with inscriptions and announcements. Indeed, one 
might go for a whole day up and down the streets and be grat 
fied by looking at pictures ; and then at the same time one 
earned what people those were who lived inside : they had 



394 



STORIES AND TALES. 



themselves hung their signs outside ; and this is a veiy good 
thing, Grandfather said : in a large town it is so instructive to 
know what is in-doors. 

Well, then, that funny affair with the sign-boards happened 

just as Grandfather came to town ; he said so himself, and he 

was not then thinking of any mischief, as mother used to say 

he was when he wanted to make a fool of me he looked 

quite trustworthy. 

The first night after he had come to the great town, there 
\vas as awful weather as has ever been told about in the pa- 
pers such weather as there had not been within the mem- 
ory of man. All the air was filled with tiles ; old wooden 
fences were overturned ; nay, there was a wheelbarrow that 
ran by itself along the street to save its life. There was a 
howling in the air, and a wailing and shaking ; it was, indeed, 
a terrible storm. The water in the .canal ran quite over the 
banks, not knowing where it dared be. The Storm went 
swooping over the town, taking the chimneys with him ; more 
than one grand old church-spire had to bend, and has never 
been quite right since. 

There stood a sentry-box before the house of the honest old 
captain of the firemen he who was always the last with his 
engine ; the Storm grudged him that little box, and it was 
flung down the steps, and rolled along the street ; and then 
strange to say it arose and remained standing before the 
house where lived the poor carpenter's apprentice who saved 
the lives of three persons the last time there was a fire ; but 
the sentry-box did not mean anything by this. The barber's 
sign-board a large brazen dish was pulled down and 
moved straight into the councilor's window recess ; and this 
seemed almost like malice, said all the neighbors, who, with 
the most intimate lady friends of the family, called the mistress 
*' the Razor " she was so sharp, and knew more about peo- 
ple than they knew themselves. 

A sign-board with a rough-drawn dry stock-fish flew straight 
on till it stood over the door of a house where lived a man 
who edited a newspaper. That was a poor joke of the Storm- 
wind ; he did not remember, I dare say, that a man who edit3 
newspapers is not at all a person to be joked with : he is a 
in his own paper and in his own opinion. 



THE STORM MOVES THE SIGN-BOARDS. 395 

The Weathercock flew over to the roof of the opposite 
neighbor's house, and stayed there in the blackest malice, 
the other neighbors said. 

The cooper's cask got hung just under the sign for " Ladies* 
outfits." 

The eating-house's bill of fare, which hung near the dooi in 
a heavy frame, was placed by the Storm just over the entrance 
to the theatre, where people never went ; it was a funny bilf : 
'" Horse-radish Soup and Farced Cabbage ; " but then the 
people came. 

The furrier's fox-skin, which is his honest sign, was removed 
to the bell-wire of the young man who always went to the 
early morning sendee, looking like an umbrella let down, fol- 
lowed the truth, and was " a pattern," his aunt said. 

The inscription, " Establishment for Higher Education," was 
removed to the billiard club ; and the establishment itself got 
the board inscribed, " Babies brought up by hand here : " this 
was not at all witty only naughty ; but the Storm did it, and 
him we cannot control. 

It was a terrible night ; and only think in the morning 
almost all the sign-boards in the town were moved ; and in 
some cases it was done with so much malice, that Grandfather 
would not talk about them ; but he laughed inwardly that, I 
well saw, and perhaps he had then some mischievous thought. 

The poor folks in the large town especially those that 
were strangers were quite puzzled to know " who was who ;'' 
and it could not be otherwise when they judged according to 
the sign-boards. Some folks who thought they were coming 
into a very grave meeting of elders, assembled to discuss the 
most important matters, came instead into a school, full of 
noisy boys, nearly jumping upon the desks. 

There were folks who mistook the church for the theatre ; 
and that is indeed dreadful ! 

Such a Storm has never blown in our time ; it is only 
Grandfather who lived to witness it, and then he was quite 
a little one ; such a Storm, perhaps, never will come in our 
time, but in our grandchildren's ; and then we must indeed 
hope and pray tha~ they may keep quiet while ''the Stonsp 
moves the Sign-boards." 



KEPT CLOSE IS NOT FORGOTTEN. 

7"^ HERE was an old house with muddy ditches round it j 
the drawbridge was more often up than down, for not 
all strange coiners are welcome. Under the jutting eaves 
were loopholes for shooting out arrows, and heaving out boil- 
ing water and sometimes molten lead down upon the 
enemy if he came too near. Within doors the rafters stood 
high aloft, and left room for the smoke that went rolling up 
out of the huge wet logs upon the hearth.' On the walls hung 
pictures of men in armor, and proud ladies in stiff robes ; 
but the stateliest of them all was living here still ; she was 
called Meta Mogens, and she was the Lady of the Manar. 

At eventide there came robbers ; they slew three of her 
men, and the watch-dog to boot, and bound Lady Meta with 
the dog-chain in the dog-kennel, and seated themselves in the 
hall above, and drank the wine out of her cellars, and all the 
good ale. 

Lady Meta was chained up like a dog, and she could not 
even bark at them. 

Then came the robbers' horse-boy ; he stole out on tiptoe ; 
he knew that he must not be marked, or he would die the 
death. 

" Lady Meta Mogens, " said the horse-boy, " dost thou re- 
nember in the days of thy husband how my father rode the 
wooden horse ? Thou wouldst fain have begged him off; but 
there was no help for it ; he was left astride on the block. 
But then thou stolest down, even as now I have stolen down ; 
and thou laidst a little stone under each of his feet, that he 
might find some rest. None of the household saw it, or no 
jne chose to see it ; thou wert their young, their gracious lady. 
Fhis my father has told me, and this have 1 kept close, but net 
forgotten. Now I set thee free thee, Lady Meta Mogens ; " 
and so they took steeds from the stable, and rode througii 
wind and weather, and got help. 



KEPT CLOSE 7S NOT FORGOTTEN. 397 

"That was good help for small service to the old man! " 
said Lady Meta Mogens. 

'*' Kept close is not forgotten," said the horse-boy. 
As for the robbers, they were hanged. 

There stood an old house it is stiL standing not the 
house where Lady Meta Mogens dwelt ; but belonging to an- 
other great and noble family. 

It is in our own days. The sun shines on the gilded turret 
spires, wooded islets lie like nosegays on the lake, and the 
wild swans are swimming around them. Roses are growing 
in the garden ; the lady of the house is herself the finest ro*e- 
leaf, shining with gladness, the gladness of good deeds ; 
not outwardly in the wide world, but inwardly in the hearts of 
men : her image is there kept close, but not forgotten. 

She now goes forth from the great house to an outlying cot- 
tage in yonder field. Within it dwells a lonely woman, crip- 
pled with aches and pain. The window of her little room 
opens to the north ; no sun comes there ; and her only look- 
out, the patch of meadow, is bounded by a lofty dike. But 
to-day sunshine is there : God's beautiful warm sun is in the 
cottage ; it comes from the south through the new window, 
where till now there was only wall. 

The jaded cripple sits in the warm sunshine, and sees wood 
and water ; the world has become wide and beautiful, and all 
at a single word from the kind lady of the manor. 

" The word was so light, the service so small ! " she said ; 
fi the gladness I gained was unspeakably great and blessed." 

And that is why she performs so many a service, and thinks 
of all around her in the poor houses, and in the rich ones too 
for these are not without their mourners. Her good deeds 
are done in secret, and kept close, but are not forgotten by 
Dur Father ! 

Th^re was an old house ; it was in the middle of the great 
bustling town. There were halls and chambers in it, but we 
will not enter them ; we remain in the kitchen. It is snug 
and bright, and the things are clean and tidy. The pots and 
kettles shine, the table looks -Dolished the floor is like a fresh 



398 STORIES AND TALES. 

scrubbed lard ing-board ; and all this has been done by a 
maid-of-all-work, who has still found time to put her own 
things on, as if she were going to church. There are ribbons 
on her cap black ribbons that betoken mourning. Yet 
she has no kith or kin to mourn for, neither father nor mother* 
nor yet sweetheart ; she is a poor solitary serving-maid. Once 
indeed she was betrothed to one who was just as poor, and 
they 'oved each other dearly. 

One day he came to her. " We have nothing, we two," he 
said ; " and the rich widow in the cellar yonder has been 
making up to me. I shall be well off with her ; but thou art 
in my heart. What wilt thou have me do ? " 

" Whatever thou thinkest best for thee ! " answered the 
maid. " Be good and loving to her ; but remember that from 
the hour we part, we two must never meet again." 

A few years had gone by, when she met him in the street, 
her former friend and sweetheart. He looked sickly and mis- 
erable. Then she could not hold back, she was forced to ask 
him, " How art thou getting on ? ' 

" Right well, in every way ! " said he. " My wife is honest 
and true, but thou art in my heart. I have fought my fight ; 
it will soon be over. We meet for the last time now, till our 
Father calls us." 

A week had passed. Yesterday's paper told that he was 
dead ; that is why the maid wears mourning. Her sweet- 
heart has left a widow and three step-children, the paper said ; 
that rings badly, yet the metal is pure. 

The black ribbons betoken mourning ; the maid's face be- 
tokens it still more ; it is kept close in her heart, and it will 
never be forgotten. 

See, there are three stories ; three blades upon one stalk. 
Do you wish for more such clover blades ? There are many 
m the book of the heart, kept close, but not forgotten. 



THE PORTER'S SON. 

General's family lived on the drawing-room ficor, 

JL the Porter's lived in the cellar. There was a great dis- 
tance between the two families the whole ground-floor aud 
the grades of society ; but both lived under the same roof, and 
their windows looked out upon the street and the same yard. 
In this yard there was a blooming acacia whenever it did 
bloom ; arid the smart nurse used to sic under it with the still 
smarter child, the General's " Little Emily." The Porter's lit- 
tle boy, with his large brown eyes and dark hair, used to dance 
bare-legged before them ; and the child would laugh at him, 
and stretch her tiny hands to him ; and if the General saw this 
from his window, he would nod down at them, and say, 
" Charmant ! " The General's lady, who was so young that 
she might almost have been her husband's daughter by an 
early marriage, never herself looked out of the window into 
the yard ; but she had given orders that the cellar-people's 
boy might play about near her own child, but never touch it 
The nurse kept strictly to her ladyship's orders. 

And the sun shone in upon those on the drawing-room floor, 
and upon those in the cellar. The acacia put forth its blos- 
soms ; they fell off, and new ones came again next year. The 
tree bloomed, and the Porter's little boy bloomed ; he looked 
quite like a fresh tulip. 

The General's little daughter grew a delicate child, like the 
faint rosy leaf of the acacia blossom. She seldom came now 
under the tree ; the fresh air she took in a carriage. She went 
with mamma for her drives, and she always nodded to the 
Porter's George ; aye, and kissed her fingers at him, till her 
mother told her that she was now grown too big for that. 

One forenoon he had to go up to the General's floor with 
the letters and newspapers which had been left at the Porter's 
'odge in the morning. When he had mounted the staircase, 



STORIES AND TALES. 

and was passing the door of the sand-bin, he heaid something 
wailing inside it. He thought it was a stray chicken chirping 
to get out ; and lo ! it was the General's little daughter in 
muslin and lace ! 

" Don't tell papa, and mamma ; they will be so angry ! " 

' ; What is the matter, little lady ? " asked George. 

" It' s burning all over ! " said she ; " it 's burning and blaz- 
ing!" 

George opened the door to the little nursery ; the windcw- 
curtain was nearly burned : the curtain-rod had caught fire, 
and stood in flames. George sprang up, pulled it down, and 
called for help ; without him there would have been a house 
on fire. 

The General and her ladyship examined little Emily. 

" I only just took one match," said she, " and that lighted 
up, and then the curtain lighted up. I spit all I could, but it 
was no good, and so I came out and hid myself, for papa and 
mamma would be so angry." 

" Spit ! " said the General ; " what sort of word is that ? 
When did you ever hear papa or mamma talk of spitting ? 
That you have learned down-stairs." 

But little George got a penny-piece. It did not go to the 
bun-shop, but into the savings-box ; and there were soon so 
many half-pence that he could buy himself a paint-box, and 
put color to his drawings ; and of these he had many : they 
seemed to come out of his pencil and his finger-ends. The 
<irst colored pictures were presented to little Emily. 

" Charmant!" said the General. Her ladyship herself ad- 
nitted that one could see clearly enough what the little one 
meant in his pictures. " There's genius in him ! " 

Such were the words which the Porter's wife brought down 
into the cellar. 

Tht? General and his lady were people of rank : they had 
two armorial shields on their carriage, one for each of them. 
Her ladyship had arms worked on every bit of clothing inside 
and out, on her nightcap, and on her night-bag. This, her 
own shield, was a costly one, bought by her father for shining 
dollars ; for he had not been born with it, no, nor she either 
she had come into the world prematurely, seven years befora 



THE PORTER'S SON. 401 

shield of arms ; a fact that was remembered by most peo- 
ple, though not by the family. The General's shield was old 
and large ; one's back might well creak with the dignity of 
this alone, to say nothing of two shields ; and there was a 
creaking in the back of her ladyship, when stiff and state. 1 / she 
drove to the court-ball. 

The General was old and gray, but sat well on horsebs.ik ; 
he was quite aware of it, and rode out every day, with a groom 
at a respectful distance behind him. When he came to a 
paity, it was just as if he came riding in on his high horse, 
and he wore orders enough to bewilder one ; but that was not 
by any means his fault. As a very young man he had per- 
formed military duties, by taking a part in the great autumnal 
reviews, which used to be held in the piping days of peace. 
Of that time he had an anecdote to tell, the only one he had. 
His subaltern cut off and took prisoner one of the princes \ 
and the Prince with his little troop of soldiers, prisoners like 
himself, had to ride back to town behind the General. It was 
an event never to be forgotten, and the General told and retold 
it, year after year, always ending with the remarkable words 
which he had spoken when he returned the Prince's sabre to 
him : " Only my subaltern could have made your Royal High- 
ness a prisoner, I myself never ! " and the Prince had an- 
swered : " Monsieur, you are incomparable ! " 

In active service the General had never been ; for when thi 
war went through his native land, he went on the diplomatic 
road, through three foreign countries. He talked the French 
language till he almost forgot his own ; he danced well, he 
rode well, orders grew on his coat in indescribable profusion, 
the sentinels presented arms to him, one of the prettiest of 
girls presented herself to him and she became the General's 
lady ; and they had a pretty babe that seemed to have fallen 
from the sky, it was so pretty ; and the Porter's son danced in 

he yard before it as soon as it could take notice, and gave it 
all hi? colored drawings ; and it looked at them, and was 
delighted with them, anc 7 tore them to pieces. She was such 
& dear sweet little thing ! 

" My rose-leaf ! " said the General's lady, " thou art born tfl 

yc a prince's bride ! 

26 



OKIES AND TALES. 

The Prince was already standing outside the door, though 
nobody knew of it. People cannot see much further than the 
doorstep. 

" T'other day our George shared his bread and butter with 
Ler, that he did ! " said the Porter's wife. " There was no 
cheese, nor yet meat with it ; yet she relished it every bit as 
well as roast beef. There'd have been a fine to-do if some 
folks had seen the little feast ; but they didn't see it." 

George had shared bread and butter with little Emily ; 
gladly would he have shared his heart with her. He was a 
a good boy, clever and sprightly ; and he now went to the 
evening school at the Academy in order to learn drawing 
thoroughly. Little Emily, too, made some progress in learning : 
she talked French with her " Bonne," and had a dancing- 
master. 

" George is to be confirmed at Easter," said the Porter's 
wife. So far advanced now was George. 

" It wouldn't be amiss either to have him 'prenticed," said 
the father, " to something tidy, of course ; and so we shall get 
him out in the world." 

" He would come home, though, to sleep at nights," said 
he mother. " It wouldn't be easy to find a master with a 
spare room. Clothes, too, we should have to give him : the 
)it of food he now eats is easily come at, he can make him- 
self happy with a couple of baked potatoes ; and he has his 
teaching free. Just let him go his own way, and he'll turn out a 
blessing to us, you may be sure ! Didn't the Professor say so ? ' 

The confirmation clothes were ready. Mother herself did 
the sewing, but they had been cut out by the jobber, and he 
knew how to cut them : if he'd only been better placed, and 
~ould have opened a shop and taken 'prentices, said the Por- 
ter's wife, the man might have become court-tailor. 

The clothes were ready, and the candidate was ready. On 
the confirmation day George received a great pinchbeck watch 
~rx>m his godfather, the flax-dealer's old shopman, the richest 
of George's godfathers. The watch was old and well-tried : 
it always went too fast, but that is better than going too slow 
This was a splendid present ; and from the General's came a 



THE PORTER'S SON. 



403 



hymn-book bound in morocco, sent by the Tittle lady to whom 
George had presented his pictures. On the fly-leaf stood his 
name and her name, and "his gracious well-wisher." This 
was written after the dictation of the General's lady, and the 
General had read it through, and said, " Charmant I " 

" That was really a great attention from such grand gentle- 
folk," said the Porter's wife ; and George had to go up-stairs 
in his confirmation clothes, and with his hymn-book, to show 
himself and return thanks. 

Her ladyship sat in a number of wrappings ? and she had 
one of her bad headaches, which always came when she felt 
ennui. She looked kindly at George, and wished him every 
thing that was good, and none of her headache. The General 
was in his dressing-gown, and wore a tasseled cap, and boots 
with tops of red russia. He paced up and down the floor 
three times, in thoughts and remembrances of his own, stopped 
still, and said, 

" Little George, then, is now a Christian man ! Let him be 
likewise an honest man, and pay due respect to his superiors ! 
This sentence, some day, when you are old, you can say that 
the General taught you." 

This was a longer speech than the General was accustomed 
to make ; and he fell back into meditation, and looked im- 
posing. But of all that George heard or saw up there, noth- 
ing remained fixed in his memory so clearly as little Miss 
Emily. How winning she looked, how soft, how fluttering, 
how fragile ! If her portrait was to be painted, it must be in 
a soap-bubble. There was a fragrance about her clothes and 
her curly yellow hair as if she were a fresh-blossomed rose- 
iree. And with her he had once shared bread and butter ; 
and she had eaten it with a sharp appetite, and nodded to him 
at every mouthful. Could she possibly recollect it still ? 
Surely yes ; it was " in remembrance " of this that she had 
given him the handsome hymn-book. And so, next year, as 
soon as the New Year's new moon was shining, he went out 
>f dootts with a loaf and a shilling in his hand, and opened 
the book to see what hymn he should turn up. It was a hymn 
of praise and thanksgiving. And he opened it regain to see 
what would turn up for little Emily. He was nr'ghtily careful 



STORIES AND TALES 

not to dip into one part of the book the place of fhe fa 
neral hymns ; and yet, for all his care, he did dip in between 
death and the grave. This was not the sort of thing to be- 
lieve in ; not a bit of it ! and yet frightened he was, wnen 
soon afterwards the dainty little girl was laid up in bed, and 
when the hall door was visited daily by the doctor's carriage. 

"They'll not keep her," said the Porter's wife ; " our Lord 
knows right well whom He will take to himself." 

But they did keep her, and George drew pictures to send her. 
He drew the castle of the Czar, the old Kremlin at Moscow, 
exactly as it stood, with turrets and cupolas : they looked like 
gigantic green and gilt cucumbers at least, they looked so in 
George's drawing. It pleased little Emily so much, that in Ine 
course of the week George sent some more pictures, all of 
them buildings ; for then she would have plenty to think about, 
wondering what was inside the door and the windows. 

He drew a Chinese house, with bells hanging to all the 
sixteen storys. He drew two Greek temples, with slender 
marble pillars and steps round them. He drew a Norwegian 
church ; one could see it was entirely built of timbers, deeply 
carved and quaintly set up ; every story looked as if it had 
cradle-rockers. But most beautiful of all was one design, a 
castle, which he called " Little Emily's." This was to be her 
dwelling-place, and so George had imagined it all himself, and 
picked out for it whatever seemed prettiest in each of the other 
ouildings. It had carved beams, like the Norwegian church ; 
marble pillars, like the Greek temples ; a peal of bells on every 
story ; and at the top of all, cupolas, green and gilded, like 
those upon the Kremlin of the Czar. It was a true child's 
palace ! And under every window was written what the hall 
or chamber was intended for : " Here Emily sleeps : " " Her; 
Emily dances : " and " Here she is to play at * visitors coming.' ' 
It was amusing to look at, and looked at it was, you may be 
sure. 

" Charmantf" said the General. 

But the old Count for there was an old Count, who was 
even grander than the General, and had a castle and mansion 
pf his own said nothing. He had been told that this had 
been imagined and drawn by the Porter's little son. Not thai 



1HE PORTER'S SOM 405 

the boy was so very little now ; indeed, he was confirmed. 
The old Count looked at the pictures, and had his own quiet 
thoughts about them. 

One morning, when the weather was downright gray, damp 
tnd dismal, it proved one of the brightest and best of days for 
little George. The Professor at the Art Academy called him 
into his private room. 

" Listen, my lad," said he ; " let us have a little talk together. 
Our Lord has favored you with good abilities ; he is now fa- 
voring you with good friends. The old Count at the corner 
house has spoken to me about you. I have seen your pictures 
also ; between ourselves, we may cross them out, they require 
so much correction. But henceforward you may come twice a 
week to my drawing-school, and so learn in time to do better. 
I believe there is more stuff in you to make an architect than 
a painter. This you will have time to consider ; but go up at 
once to the old Count at the corner house, and give thanks to 
our Lord for such a friend. 

It was a fine mansion, that corner house : round the windows 
were carved figures, both elephants and dromedaries, all of the 
olden time ; but the old Count was fondest of the modern 
time, and whatever good it brought, whether out of drawing- 
room, or the cellar, or the garret. 

" I do think," said the Porter's wife, " that the more folks 
are really grand, the less they are stuck up. You should see 
the old Count, ever so sweet and affable ! and he can talk, 
bless you, just like you and me you won't find that at the 
General's. There was George yesterday, clean upside down 
vith delight, the Count treated him so graciously ; and I am 
much the same to-day, after getting a talk with the greal man. 
Wasn't it lucky now, that we didn't 'prentice George to a trade? 
The boy has good parts in him." 

" But they must have help from outside," said the father. 

" Well, and now he has got help," said the mother. " The 
Cotint spoke out, plain and straightforward, that he did." 

" It was at the General's though, that it was all set going," 
wid the father: "they must have their turn of thanks, too." 

"They may have it, and welcome," said the mother; "yet 
there's not overmuch to thank them for, I reckon. I'll thank 



4.06 STORIES AND TALES. 

our Lord above all, and thank Him al 1 the more, now that 

little Emily is coming round again." 

Fmily kept getting on, and George kept getting on ; in the 
fourse of the year he won, first the small silver medal, and 
then the great one. 

" It would have been better, after all, to have 'prenticed 
him ! " said the Porter's wife, in tears ; " we should have kepi 
him here, then. What does he want in Rome ? Never more 
shall I set eyes on him, even if he ever comes home again \ 
and that he won't do, poor dear child ! " 

" But it 's for his own good and glory," said the father. 

" Ah ! it 's all very fine talking, good-man," said the mother, 
" but you don't mean what you say. You are just as down- 
hearted as I am." 

And it was all true, both as to the grief and the going away. 
It was a grand piece of luck for the young man, said the 
neighbors. 

And there was a round of leave-taking, including the Gen- 
eral's. Her ladyship did not appear ; she had her bad head- 
ache. The General at parting related his only anecdote 
vvhat he had said to the Prince, and how the Prince had said 
to him, " Monsieur, you are incomparable ! " and then he gave 
George his hand, his slack old hand. 

Emily, too, gave George her hand, and looked almost dis- 
mal ; but there was no one so dismal as George. 

Time goes on. Whether one is busy or idle, Time is equally 
long, though not equally profitable. To George it was profit- 
able, and never seemed long, except when he thought of those 
at home : how were they getting on, up-stairs and down-stairs ? 
\sll, tidings were sent, of them : and so much may be wrappvd 
up in a letter both the bright sunshine and the g^omy 
shade. The shade of death lay in the letter, that told him 
his mother was left a lonesome widow. Emily had been an 
angel of comfort: " she had come down below, she had," wrote 
mother. As for herself, she added, she had got leave to take 
father's post at the Porter's lodge. 

The Generars lady kept a diary : every ball was entered ia 



1UE PORTER'S SOW. 407 

it, every party she had been to, and every viMt she had re 
ceived. The volume was illustrated with cards of diploma- 
tists, and other grandees. She was proud of her diary ; it in- 
creased in growth, season after season, during many great head- 
aches, but also during many bright nights that is to say, 
court balls. 

Emily had now been to her first court-ball. The mother 
was in pink, with black lace Spanish ; the daughter was in 
white, so clear, so fine ! green ribbons fluttered, like bulrush- 
leaves, in her curly yellow locks, and she was crowned with 
a wreath of white water-lilies. With her sparkling blue eyes, 
and soft, rosy lips, she resembled a little mermaid, as beau- 
tiful as one could imagine. Three princes danced with her, 
one after another. Her ladyship had no headache for a whole 
week. 

But the first ball was not the last. It was getting too much 
for Emily ; and so it was well that summer came, with rest 
and change of air. The family was invited to the castle o* 
the old Count. 

This castle had a garden worth seeing. One part of it was 
quite in the old style, with stiff, green alleys, where one seemed 
to be walking between tall green screens, pierced with peep- 
ing-holes ; box-trees and yew-trees stood clipped into stars and 
pyramids ; water sprang from great grottoes, set with cockle- 
shells ; stone figures stood all round about, of the very heaviest 
stone, as one could plainly perceive by the faces and draper- 
ies ; every flower-bed had its own device such as a fish, a 
heraldic shield, or a monogram : this was the French part of 
the garden. From this part one came out, as it were, into the 
fresh wild-wood, where the trees could grow as they pleased, 
and were therefore great and splendid. There was a green tuif, 
inviting one's feet to tread on it, well-mown, well rolled, and 
well-kept altogether. This was the English part of the garden. 

' Olden times and modern times ! " said the Count : " here 
they meet with loving embraces. In about two years thrt 
house itself will assume its proper importance. It wil) un 
dergo a perfect change into something handsomer and better 
I will show you the plans, and I will show you he architect 
^e is coming here to dinner." 



408 STORIES AND TALES. 

" Charmant !" said the general. 

" This garden is paradisiacal ! " said her ladyship ; u and 
yonder you have a baronial castle." 

That is my hen-house," said the Count ; " the pigeons live 
in the tower, the turkeys on the first floor, but in the pailoi 
reigns old Dame Else. She has spare rooms on all sides \ 
this for the sitting hen, that for the hen and chickens, while 
the ducks have their own outlet to the water." 

" Charmant ! " repeated the General, and they all went to 
see the fine show. 

Old Else stood in the middle of the parlor, and beside her 
stood the architect George ! He and little Emily met 
after so many years met in the hen-house. 

Aye, there he stood a comely figure to look at : his counte- 
nance open and determined, his hair black and glossy, and 
his mouth with a smile that said, " There is a little rogue be- 
hind my ear, that knows you outside and inside ! ' Old Else 
had taken off her wooden shoes and stood in her stockings 
out of respect for her illustrious visitors. The hens clucked, 
the cock crowed, and the ducks waddled along, rap, rap. 
But the pale slender girl, the friend of his childhood, the Gen- 
eral's daughter, stood before him ; her pale cheeks flushing 
with the rose, her eyes opening eagerly, and her mouth speak- 
ing without uttering a syllable. Such was the greeting he 
received ; the prettiest that any young man could desire from 
a young lady ; unless, indeed, they were of the same family, 
or had often danced together ; but these two had never danced 
together. 

The Count grasped his hand and presented him, saying, 
" Not a complete stranger, our young friend, Mr. George." 

Her ladyship courtesied ; her daughter was about to give 
him her hand, but she did not give it him. 

" Our little Mr. George ! " said the General. " Old house- 
friends : :harmant ! ' 

" You have grown quite an Italian," said her ladyship 
" and you speak the language, no doubt, like a native." 

Her ladyship could sing Italian, but not speak it, added th 
General. 

At the dinner-table George sat at the right hand of Emily 



THE PORTER'S SON. 

The General had led her in ; and the Count ^ad led in her 

ladyship. 

George talked, and told anecdotes, and he could tell them 
well. He was the life and soul of the party ; though the old 
Count could have been so too, if it had suited him. Emily sat 
silent ; her ears listened, her eyes shone, but she said nothing, 

They stood, she and George, among the flowers in the TC- 
randa behind a screen of roses. It was left to George again. 
to begin speaking. 

" Thanks for. your kindness to my mother," said he ; "I 
know that, on the night of my father's death, you went down 
and stayed with her, till his eyes were closed. Thanks ! ' 
He raised Emily's hand, and kissed it ; he might fairly do so 
on that occasion. She grew blushing red ; but pressed his 
hand in return, and looked at him with her tender blue eyes. 

" Your mother was a loving soul ; how fond she was of 
you ! All your letters she brought me to read, so I seem al- 
most to know you. I remember too when I was little, how 
kind you were to me. You gave me pictures " 

" Which you tore in pieces," said George. 

" Nay, I have still my own castle left that drawing of it.' 

" And now I must build it in reality ! '' said George, and 
grew quite hot himself as he said it. 

The General and his lady, in their own rooms, talked about 
the Porter's son. Why, he could express himself with knowl- 
edge, with refinement ! " He is fit to be engaged as a tutor/* 
said the General. 

<l Genius ! " said her ladyship ; and that was all she said. 

Again and again, in those fine summer days, did George 
come to the castle of the Count. He was missed when he 
did not come. 

" How much more God has given to you than to us ordinaiy 
mortals ! " said Emily to him. " Are you grateful for that 
now ? " 

It flattered George, that this fair young girl should look up 
to him, and he thought she had rare powers of appreciation. 

And the General felt more and more convinced that Mr. 
George could hardly be a genuine child of the cellar. " Other- 
wise, the mother was a right honest woman," said he ; " thai 
Ktntence I owe to her epitaph ! 



" 



STOASES AND TALES. 

Summer went ; winter came ; and there was more to tell 
about Mr. George. He had received notice and favor in the 
highest of high places. The General had met him at the 
court-ball. 

And now there was to be a ball at home, for little Smily 
Could Mr. George be invited ? 

* Whom the King invites, the General can invite ! tf said 
the General, and drew himself up a good inch higher. 

Mr. George was invited, and he came. And princes and 
counts came, and each danced better than the other. But 
Emily danced only the first dance, for in the course of it she 
sprained her ankle, not dangerously, but enough to give her 
pain ; and so she had to be prudent, and stop dancing, and 
look on at the others. And there she sat, looking on, while 
the architect stood by her side. 

"You are giving her the whole of St. Peter's at Rome/' 
said the General, as he passed, smiling like benevolence itself. 

With the same smile of benevolence he received Mr. George 
a few days afterward. The young man came to thank him 
for the ball, of course. Was there anything else to say ? Yes, 
indeed, astounding amazing raving madness, that was all ! 
The General could scarcely believe his own ears. A " pyra- 
midal declamation ! " an unheard-of proposition ! Mr. George 
asked for little Emily as his wife ! 

" Man ! " said the General, and he began to boil, " I cannot 
understand you ! What is it you say ? What is it you want ? 
I don't know you. Sir ! Fellow ! you choose to come and 
break into my house ! am I to stay here, or am I not ? " And 
he backed out into his bedroom, and locked the door. George 
stood alone for a few moments, and then turned on his heel. 
In the corridor he met Emily. 

J< My father answered ? " she asked, with a trembling 
voice. 

George pressed her hand. "He ran away from me a 
better time will come." 

There were tears in Emily's eyes : in those of the young 
man were courage and confidence ; and the sun shone ir 
upon them both and blessed them. 

In his bedroom sat the General boiling more and more 



THE SORTER'S SON. 411 

boiling over, and sputtering out "Lunacy! Porter-mad- 
ness ! " 

Before an hour was past, the General's lady learned it all 
from the General's own mouth, and she called for Emily, and 
sat alone with her. 

" Poor girl," she said ; " to think of his insulting you so, 
insulting us all ! You have tears in your eyes, I see : they 
are quite becoming to you. You look charming in tears. You 
remind me of myself on my wedding-day. Go on crying, 
little Emily." 

" That I must, indeed ! " said Emily, " unless you and papa 
say ' Yes ! ' " 

"Child," cried her ladyship, "you are ill! you are deliri- 
ous ! and I am getting my dreadful headache ! O, the mis- 
eries that are coming down upon our house ! Do not let 
your mother die, Emily ; then you will have no mother." 

And her ladyship's eyes were wet : she could not bear to 
think of her own death. 

Among other announcements in the " Gazette " might be 
seen : " Mr. George, appointed Professor, 5th class, No. 8." 

" What a pity his father and mother are in the grave, and 
can't read it ! " said the new porter folks, who now lived in 
the cellar under the General. They knew that the Professor 
had been born and bred within the four walls. 

" Now he'll come in for the title-tax ! " said the man. 

" Well, it 's no such mighty matter for a poor child ! >:l said 
the wife. 

" Eighteen rix-dollars a year ! " said the man. " / call it a 
good round sum." 

"No, no; it's the title 7'm talking of!' said the wife, 
" You don't suppose he'll be bothered by having the tax to 
pay ? He can earn as much over and over again, and a rich 
wife into the bargain. If we had little ones, good-man, a 
child of ours, too, would some day be architect and professor." 

Thus George was weL mentioned in the cellar, and he was 
well mentioned on the drawing-room floor : the old Count 
took good care of that. 

If nras the old set of childish picture-drawings that intro 



STORIES AND TALES. 

duced his name. But how came these to te mentioned . 
Why, the talk turned upon Russia, upon Moscow : and thug 
one was led right up to the Kremlin, of which our friend 
George made a drawing once, when he was little, for the little 
Miss Emily. What a number of pictures he used to draw 1 
one the Count especially remembered " Little Emily's Cas- 
tle," with scrolls showing where she slept, where she danced, 
and where she played at " Visitors coming." The Professor 
had great ability. He might live to be an old veteran privy 
counselor that was not at all improbable : aye, and build a 
real castle for the young lady before he died why not ? 

" That was a strange burst of vivacity," remarked the Gen- 
eral's lady, when the Count was gone. The General nodded 
his head, thoughtfully, and went out riding, with his groom at 
a respectful distance behind him, and he sat prouder than 
ever on his high horse. 

Little Emily's birthday came, bringing cards and notes, 
books and flowers. The General kissed her on the brow, and 
her ladyship kissed her on the lips. They were patterns of 
parental affection ; and they were all three honored with high 
visitors two of the princes. Then there was talk about 
balls and theatres, about diplomatic embassies, and the gov- 
ernment of kingdoms and empires. There was talk about 
rising men, about native talent ; and this brought up the 
name of the young professor, Mr. George, the architect. 

" He is building for immortality ! "' it was said ; " mean- 
while he is building himself into one of the first families." 

" One of the first families ! ' : repeated the General, when 
he was left alone with her ladyship : " which one of our first 
families ? ' 

" I can guess which was alluded to," said her ladyship ; 
w but I don't choose to speak, nor even think of it. God may 
ordain it so, but I shall be quite astounded ! ' : 

" Astounded ! " echoed the General. " Look at me ; I 
haven't a single idea in my head ! " and he sank into a rev- 
erie, waiting for thoughts to come. 

There is an unspeakable power bestowed on a man by a 
few dew-drops of grace grace from above whether the 
grace of kings, or the grace of God ; and both of these com- 
bined in favor of little George. 



THE PORTER'S 

But we are forgetting the birthday. 

Emily's chamber was fragrant with flowers, sent by her 
fr.ends and playmates : on her table lay fine presents, tokens 
of greeting and remembrance ; but not one from George. 
Gifts from him would not have reached her, but they were not 
needed ; the whole house was a remembrance of him. From 
the very sand-bin under the stairs peeped a memorial flowei, 
even as Emily had peeped, when the curtain was in flames, 
and George rushed up as first fireman. One glance out of 
the window, and the acacia-tree reminded her of the days of 
childhood. Blossoms and leaves were gone, but the tree 
stood in hoar-frost, like a vast branch of coral ; and full and 
clear between the branches shone the moon, unchanged 
though ever changing, the same as when boy George shared 
his bread and butter with baby Emily. 

She opened a drawer and took out the pictures, the 
Kremlin of the Czar, and her own castle, keepsakes from 
George. They were looked on and mused upon, and thought 
after thought kept rising. She remembered the day when, 
unmarked by father or mother, she stole down to where the 
Porter's wife lay breathing her last ; she sat by her side, held 
her hand, and heard her dying words, " Blessing George ! " 
The mother was thinking of her son. But now, to Emily, the 
words seemed to bear a deeper meaning. In good truth, 
George was with her on her birthday. 

The next day, as it happened, was another birthday, the 
General's own, for he had been born the day after his daughter 
naturally earlier, many years earlier. Again there came 
presents ; and among the rest a saddle of a peculiar make, 
and comfortable and costly ; there was only one of the princes 
who had the fellow to it. From whom could it have come I 
The General was in ecstasy. It bore a little ticket. Now, if 
this had said, " Thanks for yesterday," any of us could have 
guessed whom it came from, but the ticket said, " From one 
\\hom the General does not know." 

" Who in the world is there I do not know ? " said the 
General. " I know everybody," and his thoughts went pay- 
ing visits in the great world. He knew them all there, one 
and all. " It comes f*om my wife: " he said, at last. " She 
is making fun of me 1 Charmant 1 " 



414 STORIES AND TALES. 

But she was not making fun of him ; that ame was gont 
by. 

Once more there was a feast ; but not at the General's. 
It was a fancy ball given by one of the primces : masking was 
allowed there. 

The General went as Rubens, in a Spanish dress with a 
imall ruff, upright as his rapier. Her ladyship was Madame 
Rubens, in black velvet, a high bodice, terribly warm, and her 
neck in a millstone, that is to say, in a large ruff. She looked 
the image of a Dutch painting of the General's, the hands in 
which were especially admired, and were thought exactly like 
those of her ladyship. 

Emily was Psyche, in muslin and lace. She was a floating 
fuft of swan's-down ; she was in no need of wings, and only 
iv ore them as the Psyche badge. 

It was a scene of pomp and splendor, lights and flowers, 
Magnificence and taste. One had hardly time to pay attention 
to Madame Rubens and her beautiful hands. 

A black Domino, with an acacia flower in his hood, danced 
with Psyche. 

" Who is he ? " asked the General's lady. 

" His Royal Highness," said the General. " I am quite 
sure of that. I knew him at once by his hand-salute." 

Her ladyship doubted. 

General Rubens did not doubt. He drew near the black 
Domino, and wrote royal initials on the palm of his hand. 
They were not acknowledged ; but a certain hint was given in 
return : the motto of the saddle ! " One whom the General 
does not know ! ' 

"Yet something I do know of you," said the General; "it 
jvas you who sent me the saddle." 

The Domino waved his hand, and disappeared among th 
others. 

" Who is the black Domino you have been dancing with, 
Emily ? " asked her mother. 

' I did not ask his name," she answered. 

" Because you knew it ! It is the Professor. Your prote'ge', 
Count, is there," she continued, turning to the Count, who 
stood close by ; " the black Domino with the acacia flower." 



THE PORTER'S SON. 



45 



" Very likely, your ladyship," he replied ; " but Eti 1, there 
Is one of the princes in the same costume." 

" I know that hand-salute," said the General. " From the 
Prince I received the saddle ! I feel so sure of my man, '.hat 
I would ask him to dinner." 

"Do so," said the Count; "if it's the Prince he \\ill 3C 
3ure to come." 

" And if it is the other he will not come," said the General 
and made his way to the black Domino, who stood talking jvith 
the King. The General offered him a most respectful invita- 
tion, together with hopes of better acquaintance. The Gun- 
eral smiled in full confidence, he knew so well whom he /vaa 
inviting, and he spoke aloud and distinctly. 

The Domino lifted his mask ; it was George ! 

" Does the General repeat his invitation ? " he asked. 

The General drew himself an inch higher, assumed a stifter 
bearing, took two steps backward, and one step forward, as 
if dancing a minuet ; and all the gravity and expression he 
could muster all the General, in short stood in his fine 
features. 

" I never retract my offers the Professor is invited ! " and 
he bowed, with a sidelong glance at the King, who might cer- 
tainly have heard the whole of it. 

And thus the General gave a dinner, at which his only guests 
were the old Count and his prote'ge'. 

" My foot under the table ! " thought George ; " the founda- 
tion-stone is laid." And so it was indeed ; and it was laid 
with great solemnity on the part of the General and her lady- 
ship. 

The man had come and gone ; and, as the General was 
quite ready to confess, had behaved like a member of good 
society, and had been vastly agreeable ; the General had often 
found himself repeating his " Charmant." Her ladyship also 
talked of her dinner ; talked of it to one of the highest and 
most highly gifted of the court ladies, and the latter begged 
an invitation for herself, next time the Professor came. So 
he must needs be re-invited. And invited he was, and came, 
and again he was " Charmant ; he could even play at chess ' 



416 STOKIES AND TALES. 

"He is not from the cellar," said the General. "Most 
undoubtedly he is some scion of nobility there are many 
such noble scions and that is not any fault of the young 



man's ! ' : 



Mr. Professor could enter the King's house, and so night 
very well enter the General's ; but strike root there no 1 
Who could talk of such a thing ? Why, the whole town, lLat 
was all. 

He did strike root, and he grew. The dew of grace fell 
(rom above. 

There was nobody, therefore, astonished that, when the Pro- 
fessor became State Counselor, Emily became State Coun~ 
teloress. " Life is tragedy or comedy," said the General : " in 
tragedy they die ; in comedy they win each other." 

Here they won each other. And they won three sturdy 
boys, though not all at once. 

The sweet children rode on sticks from room to room, when- 
ever they came to see grandfather and grandmother. And 
the General rode on a stick behind them, " as groom for the 
small State Counselors ! " 

Her ladyship sat on the sofa and smiled, even if she had got 
her bad headache. 

So far did George get on in the world, and much farther 
too ; or else it would not have been worth my while to tell 
story of u The Porter's Son." 



AUNTY. 

YOU should have known Aunty. She was so charmirig, 
Yes ; that is to say, not at all charming in the usual 
sense of charming, but sweet and quaint, and funny in hei 
own way ; just the thing, in short, to chat about, when one 
feels in the mood for gossiping and laughing. She was fit to 
be put in a play ; and that simply and solely because she 
herself lived for the play-house, and all that goes on in it 
She was far above any scandal ; and even Commercial Agent 
Bigg (or Pig, as Aunty called him) could only say she was play- 
house mad. 

" The theatre is my school-room," said she ; " my fountain 
of knowledge. There I have rubbed up my old Bible history ; 
take " Moses," for instance, or " Joseph and his Brethren ; " 
they are operas now. It is there that I have studied my Gen- 
eral History, my Geography, and foreign Manners and Cus- 
toms. From French pieces I have learned Paris life rather 
oaughty, but highly interesting. How I have cried over the 
' Riguebourg Family ; " to think that the husband must drink 
himself to death, and all to let his wife get her young sweet- 
heart. Aye, many and many's the tear I've shed, all those 
fifty years of play-going." 

Aunty knew every piece, every bit of scenery, every actor 
that came on, or ever had come on. She could hardly be 
said to live, except in the nine theatrical months. A summer 
without a summer spectacle was enough to age her; while a 
play-night that lasted till morning was a prolongation of life. 
She did not say like other people, " We shall soon have 
spring : the stork is come ! ' ; or " There is news in the paper 
of the early strawberries : No ; the autumn was what she 
tnnounced, thus : " Have you seen the Box-office is open j 
They'll soon begin the performances." 

She reckoned the worth of a house and its situation by its 

27 



41 8 STORIES AND TALES. 

distance from the theatre. It was grief to her to leave tht 
narrow court behind the theatre, and flit to the wide street a 
little further off, and live there without any opposite neighbors. 

" At home my windows should be my theatre-box. One 
can't sit there in the dumps, never seeing a soul. But where 
I live now I seem to be clean out in the country ; not a living 
creature in sight unless I go into the back kitchen, and clam- 
ber up on the sink ; that's the only way of getting at my neigh- 
bors. Now, in that old court of mine, I could look right into 
the flax-dealer's ; and then I had only three hundred stepa 
to take to the theatre ; now it takes me three thousand step^ 
and life-guardsman steps too." 

Aunty might sometimes be out of sorts ; but, well or ill, she 
never neglected the theatre. Her doctor ordered her, one 
evening, to put her feet in poultices ; she did as he told her ; 
but rode off to the theatre, and sat there with her feet in poul- 
tices. If she had died there, she would have been contented. 
Thorwaldsen died in the theatre ; this she called " a blessed 
death." 

She could not form any notion of heaven if there was to be 
no theatre there. It was not exactly promised us : but only 
think of all the great actors and actresses who had gone be- 
fore ; surely they must find some fresh scene of action. 

Aunty had her own electric wire from the theatre to her 
loom ; the telegram came every Sunday to coffee. Her elec- 
tric wire was " Mr. Sivertsen of the stage-machinery depart- 
ment." It was he who gave the signals for up or down, on 01 
off, with the curtain and scenery. 

From him she received a brief and business-like report of the 
coming pieces. Shakespeare's " Tempest " he called " wretch' 
cd stuff ! there is so much to set up ! why, it begins with water 
to back-scene No. i." That was to say. that so far backward 
Stretched the rolling billows. On the other hand, if a piece 
could get through five acts without a single change of dec 
orations, he pronounced it sensible and weli-constructed ; a 
steady-going piece that could play itself, without any pushing 
or pulling. 

Aunty used to talk about " a goodish time back," meaning 
tome thirty and odd years, when she and Mr. Sivertsen wert 



AUNTY. 419 

both younger ; how he was then already in the machinery de- 
partment, and how he became her " benefactor." In those days 
it was the custom, at the great and only theatre of the town, 
to admit spectators into the cockloft ; every carpenter could 
dispose of one or two places. It was soot chock-full ; and 
the company was very select ; the wives of generals and al- 
dermen had been there, it was said ; it was so interesting to 
look down behind the scenes, and observe how the performers 
stood and moved, when the curtain was down. 

Aunty had many times been there ; especially to tragedies 
and ballets : for the pieces that required the largest personate 
were the most interesting to see from the cockloft. One sat 
up there in darkness pretty nearly. Most people brought 
their suppers with them. Once three apples, a slice of bread 
and butter, and a sausage-roll, came straight down into the 
prison where Ugolino and his sons were just about to die of 
hunger. This sausage-roll produced a great effect. It was 
cheered by the public ; but it determined the managing com- 
mittee to shut up the cockloft. 

" But still, I have been there seven-and-thirty times," said 
Aunty ; " and that I shall always remember of Mr. Sivertsen." 

On the very last evening that the cockloft was open to the 
public, the " Judgment of Solomon " was played ; Aunty could 
remember it so well. From her benefactor, Mr. Sivertsen, 
she had obtained a ticket for Agent Bigg. Not that he de- 
served one ; he was always flouting and fleering at the theatre, 
and quizzing her about it ; still she did get him a place in the 
cockloft. He wanted to look at the play-house articles wrong 
side uppermost : " these were his very words, and just like 
hin\" said Aunty. 

So hue saw the " Judgment of Solomon "from above, and fel 
asleep. It was easy to guess that he had been dining out and 
joining in several toasts. He slept till he was locked in, and 
sat the whole dark night in the theatre loft. He had a story 
o tell of his waking up ; but Aunty did not believe a bit of it. 
The play was played out, the lamps and lights were all out, 
all the people were out, above and beneath ; but then begar? 
the after-piece, the genuine comedy, the best of all, said the 
tgent. There came life inco the properties ; it was not " Solo- 



42O STORIES AND TALES. 

mon's Judgment" that was given now, but " Judgment Da j 
at the Theatre." And all this did Agent Bigg, in his impu 
dence, try to cram into Aunty ; that was her thanks for get 
ting him into the cockloft. 

What the agent went on to tell might be comical enough 
but there was mockery and spite at the bottom of it. 

" It was dark up there," said the agent; "but then began 
the demon-show, the grand spectacle, 'Judgment Day at the 
Theatre.' Check-takers stood at the doors, and every specta- 
tor had to show his spiritual testimonial, to settle whether he 
was to enter free-handed or handcuffed, and with or without a 
gag in his mouth. Fine gentlefolk, who came too late, when 
the performance had already begun, and young fellows given 
to losing their time, were tethered outside. There they were 
shod with felt, so as to creep in gently before the next act, 
besides being gagged. And so began ' Judgment Day at the 
Theatre.' " 

" Mere spite," said Aunty ; " which our Lord knows noth- 
ing of." 

The scene-painter, if he wished to get into heaven, had to 
clamber up some stairs which he had painted himself, but 
which were too hi^h for the longest pair of legs. That, to be 
sure, was only a sin against perspective. All the trees, flowers, 
and buildings, which the machinist had taken such pains to 
plant in lands quite foreign to them, the poor wretch had to 
transplant into their proper homes, and all before cockcrow, if 
he looked for any chance of heaven. Mr. Bigg had better 
mind his own chances of getting there ! And then to hear 
what he told of the performers, both in tragedy and comedy, 
in song and in dance why, it was shameful of Mr. Bigg ! 
Mr. Pig indeed ! he never deserved his place in the cockloft* 
Aunty would not believe him on his oath. It was all \\ritten 
out, he said ; and he swore (the pig ') it should be printed 
when he was dead and buried not before, he had no wish 
be flayed alive. 

Aunty had once been in terror and anguish in her own tern 
r le of happiness, the theatre. It was a winter day ; one o* 
those days when we have just two hours of foggy daylight. If 
was bleak and snowy ; but Aunty was bound for the theatre 



AuATY. 431 

They were to give " Hermann von Unna" besides a little opera 
and a great ballet, a prologue and an epilogue : it would last 
over the night. Aunty must needs be off: her lodger had lent 
her a pair of sledging-boots, shaggy both outside and inside ; 
t _ey reached the whole way up the legs. 

She came to the theatre and into her box ; the boots wera 
warm so she kept them on. Suddenly there arose a cry of 
" Fire ! " smoke came from one of the wirgs, smoke came from 
the cockloft ; there was a frightful uproar. People stormed 
out. Aunty sat furthest from the door. " Second tier, left- 
hand side ; the decorations tell best there," she used to say ; 
" they are always arranged to look prettiest from the king's 
side of the house." Aunty now wished to get out of it, but 
those before her, in their blundering excitement, slammed the 
door fast. There stood Aunty ; there was no way out, and 
no way in, for the next box had too high a partition. She 
called ; nobody heard her. She looked over at the tier under- 
neath ; it was empty ; the balustrade was low ; there was not 
far to drop. In her fright she felt young and active. She 
prepared for a jump. She got one foot on the bench, the other 
over the balustrade ; and there she sat astride, well draped in 
her flowered skirt, with a long leg dangling below it, display- 
ing an enormous sledging-boot. That was a sight to see ! 
Seen it was, and Aunty heard at last ; and she was easily 
saved, for there was no fire to speak of. 

That was the most memorable evening in her life, she used 
to say ; and she thanked Heaven she did not see herself, or 
she would have died of shame. 

Her benefactor in the machinery department, Mr. Sivertsen. 
came to her regularly every Sunday. But it was a long time 
from Sunday to Sunday. Latterly, therefore, in the middle of 
the week, a small child came up for " the leavings ; " that is to 
say, to make a supper off the remains of Aunty's dinner. 

This child was a young member of the ballet, only too happy 
to get i meal. She used to tread the boards as a page or 
a fairy. Her hardest part was that of hind-legs for the lion in 
Mozart's " Enchanted Flute." She grew up in time to be fore 
legs ; for this she was only paid three marks, though she had 
been paid a rix-dollar when she was hind-legs j tut then she 



422 S7VRIES AND TALES. 

had had to creep about stooping, and panting for want of fresh 
air. This was very interesting to know, observed Aunty. 

If every one got his deserts, Aunty would have lasted as 
long as the theatre. But she could not hold out so long. 
Neither did she die in it, but quietly and decently in her own 
oed. Meanwhile her dying words were full of meaning ; she 
asked, " What are they going to play to-morrow ? " 

She left behind her about five hundred rix-dollars so at 
least we conclude from the yearly rental, which amounts to 
twenty dollars. The money was left as a legacy to some one 
or other deserving old spinster, living alone in the world. It 
was to be used for taking a place on the second tier, left side, 
every Saturday ; for on that day they gave the best pieces. 
Only one condition was imposed on the legatee. As she sat io 
the theatre, every Saturday, she was to think of Aunty 
lay in her grave. 

This was Aunty's Religious Foundation. 



CHICKEN-GRETHE'S FAMILY. 

CHICKEN-GRETHE was the only human being 
lived in the new and stately house that had just been 
built for the chickens and ducks in the farm-yard ; it was 
erected where formerly the old baronial castle had stood, with 
its turrets, pointed gable, moat, and draw-bridge. All around 
was a perfect wilderness of trees and shrubs ; this had been 
the garden, which once extended down to the big lake ; that 
is now all a marsh. Rooks, crows, and jackdaws soared 
above these trees with noisy clamor a host of birds, which 
never seemed to lessen, if fired among, but rather to increase. 
Even in the chicken-house, where Chicken-Grethe sat, they 
were distinctly heard; yes, and some jackdaws dared actually 
cross the threshold. Chicken-Grethe knew every chicken, 
every duck, since it crept out of the egg. She was proud of 
ber chickens and ducks, proud of the stately house that was 
built for them. And clean and neat did it look within her 
little room ; her mistress, to whom the chickens and the 
house belonged, insisted upon this. Now and then she used 
to come with noble and elegant visitors, to show them the 
chickens' and ducks' barracks, as she called the house. 

She had both arm-chair and wardrobe there, and even a 
bureau, on the top of which a polished brass plate was placed, 
with the name, " Grubbe " engraved upon it ; that was the 
lamo of the family that lived there at the time when the old 
astle was standing. While they were digging the ground, 
Jlis brass plate was found, and Degnen had said that it had 
no real value, except as an old memorial. Degnen knew 
everything about the place, and of the old times. He pos- 
sessed a good deal of book learning. His table-drawer was 
full of manuscripts. He knew a great deal of the old days, 
but the oldest crow knew perhaps more than he did, and 
cioakrd about it in his tongue, but that was the crow tongue. 



424 STORIES AND TALES. 

At the close of a warm summer day, the marsh would cover 
itself with a mist, thus assuming the aspect of a big lake be- 
yond the aged trees, in which the rooks, crows, and jackdaws 
lived ; and in that way did it look when old Herr Grubbe 
lived there, and when the old castle was yet standing, with 
its massive red walls. The dog-chain reached then quite 
beyond the gateway. They reached the stone-paved halj 
through the tower, and thence entered the rooms. The win- 
dows were narrow, and the panes very small, even in the large 
hall, where they used to dance. But during the time of the 
last of the Grubbes, there had been no dancing within the 
memory of men ; and yet there still lay the old kettle-drum, 
that had been used to make up the music. There stood a 
cupboard, curiously carved, in which bulbs of flowers were 
stored away. Frau Grubbe was very fond of raising flowers 
and trees ; her husband preferred to hunt the boar and the 
wolf, his little daughter Maria his constant companion. At 
the early age of five, she sat proudly upon her horse, and 
looked fearlessly about with her coal-black eyes. Nothing 
gave her greater pleasure than to crack the whip among the 
hounds. Her father would have liked it better if she had 
whipped the country boys, that had gathered to gaze at the 
big folk. The peasant in the hut near the garden had a son, 
Soren, of the same age with the high-born young lady ; he 
knew how to climb trees, and had to fetch birds down for her. 
The birds screamed as loud as they could scream, and once 
one of the biggest struck him in the face, so that the blood 
ran down his cheeks ; they thought that one eye was gone, 
but it had not been injured. Maria Grubbe called him her 
own Soren. That was a great favor, which even reflected 
upon the father, " dirty Ton." He had one day done some- 
thing wrong, and was condemned to ride upon the wooden 
horse. This horse stood in the yard ; its legs consisted of 
four poles its back was made of one rail, and this horse Ton 
liad to ride ; and that he might not sit upon it too comfort- 
ably, they fastened several bricks to his feet. He made dread' 
ful faces ; little Soren wept, and upon his knees begged the 
high-born young lady to release his father, and she at onc 
ordered that Soien's father should be freed from his horse 




CHICKEN SRETHE'S FAMILY. See page 424. 



CHICKEN-GRETH&S FAMILY. 425 

Finding hat she was not obeyed, she stamped upon the pave- 
ment with her little feet, and pulled her father's coat-sleeves, 
and tore them. She insisted upon having her will, and her 
will she got. Soren's father was released. 

I rau G r ubbe, who came to the spot, caressed her daughter, 
and gave her a kind look of approbation out of her mild eyes : 
Maria understood it not. 

To the hunt would she go, but not with her mother, who 
went thiough the garden, down to the lake, where the yellow 
and white water-lilies stood in full bloonrij and where the bul- 
rushes were swayed by the gentle winds. She gazed with 
rapture upon all this luxuriant growth and freshness. " How 
charming ! " said she. And a rare tree grew in the garden : 
she had planted it herself: its name was "blood beech," a 
kind of negro among trees, so dark-brown were its leaves. It 
wanted a great deal of sunlight, or its leaves became green 
in the cool shade, like those of the other trees, and thus lost 
their peculiarity. In the high trees were many birds'-nests, 
also in the shrubs, and in the grass. The birds seemed to 
understand that they were secure there ; nobody dared to pop 
a gun in that place. 

And Maria came with Soren ; he knew how to climb, 
that we have heard, and she told him to fetch the eggs, and 
downy young birds. The parent birds, both the big and 
small, ^lew about in terror and agony, the lapwings of the 
fields, and the rooks, crows, and jackdaws of the high trees. 
There was screaming, just as the whole family scream nowa- 
days. 

" What are you doing, children ? ' called the mild lady. 
" You know that this is wicked work ! " 

Soren stood dejected ; the little high-born young lady 
looked a little askance, but then said, in an abrupt and pert 
way, <: Father allows me to do this ! ' 

" Away, away ! " cried the blackbirds, and away they flew ; 
but they returned the next day, because here they were at 
home. 

The quiet, mild lady did not long remain at that home ; 
our Lord called her away : she was better at home with Him 
than upon this earth ! The church-bells tolled solemnly 



426 STORIES AND TALES. 

while her remains were carried to the church ; the poor men'f 
eyes grew dim : she had always been kind to them 

Nobody took care of her plants after she had gone, and the 
garden went to ruin. 

" Herr Grubbe is a hard man," said they, " but his daugh- 
ter, young as she is, is a match for him." He would flare up, 
but she always had her own way. 

She had grown to be twelve years old, strong limbed and 
tall. She looked at the people with her coal black eyes, 
rode her horse like a man, and fired her gun like a practiced 
sportsman. And it so happened that a great visitor came to 
that region, the very greatest, the young king and his half- 
brother and comrade, Herr Ulrich Frederick Gyldenlove ; 
they came to hunt the wild boar, and intended to stay one 
day and night at Herr Grubbe's place. 

Gyldenlove had the pleasure of sitting beside Maria Grubbe 
at the dinner-table ; he seized her by the head, and gave her 
a kiss, as if he belonged to the family ; but she slapped his 
face, and told him she did not like him at all. They laughed 
a good deal about it, as if it had been very amusing. And so, 
probably, Gyldenlove had thought, for, five years after that, 
when Maria had completed her seventeenth year, there came 
a messenger with a letter from him, asking the hand of the 
young lady. That was something ! 

" He is the most distinguished and most accomplished 
knight in the land," said Herr Grubbe ; " you cannot refuse 
him." 

" I do not care much for him," said Maria Grubbe, but she 
did not refuse the most distinguished man in the land, who 
sat next to the king. 

The stiver, and the woolen and linen goods, were sent by 
ship to Copenhagen, while, ten days afterward, Maria went 
by land. The ship containing the dowry had contrary wind, 
or no wind at all : it took four months to go to Copenhagen 
and when it did arrive, Frau Gyldenlove had left. 

" I will sooner lie upon hards 1 than upon his bed of silk,' 
said she " I would rather go barefoot, than ride with him ii 
a carriage ! ' 

1 The refuse of flax. 



CHJCKEN-GRETHE'S FAMILY 427 

Late in the evening of a November day came two women 
driving into Aarhuus city ; it was Gyldenlove's wife, Maria 
Grubbe, and her servant. They came from Veile, where they 
had arrived from Copenhagen in a vessel. They drove to 
Herr Grubbe's new stone house. He was anything but 
pleased to see her. He spoke to her harshly, but gave rer a 
chamber to sleep in. She received her beer broth in the 
morning, but no " good-morning "' with it. The father's evil 
spirit was tuined against her; she was not used to it. She 
had no meek temper either. " As one is spoken to, so does 
one answer," thought she ; and thus she did answer. And 
of her husband she spoke with loathing and hatred, and said 
that she was too modest and virtuous to live with such a man. 

So a year went by, and not at all pleasantly. Many hard 
words passed between father and daughter, and hard words 
.*ar hard fruit. What could be the end? 

" We two can never live under one roof," said tile father 
one day. " You may move to the old homestead ; but I 
advise you rather to cut your tongue off, than to set lies 
afloat." 

They separated ; she, with her servant, to go to the old 
homestead, where she was born and brought up, and where 
that mild and pious lady, her mother, lay buried in the vaults 
of the church. The only occupant of the place was the old 
steward. Cobwebs hung in heavy festoons from the ceilings, 
black and sombre. In the garden grew what had a mind to 
grow ; hops and bindweeds twined nets between trees and 
shrubs. Hemlock and nettle grew up, and became strong. 
The blood beech was outgrown, and stood completely in the 
shade, its leaves green, like the leaves of the other and com' 
mon trees ; its glory had passed away. 

The rooks, crows, and jackdaws fluttered in great crowds 
about the high chestnut-trees. They screamed and croaked, 
as if they had great news to tell each other. 

And here she was again, the child that had ordered their 
nests to be robbed of eggs and young ones. The thief him- 
self, that had stolen them, was climbing leafless trees now, 
for he sat in the high mast-heads and received his share with 
iL" rope's-end, if he did not behave himself. 



428 S70RIES AND TALES. 

Alt this was told by Degnen, in our time ; he had put it 
together frjm books and notes, and it was stowed away, \sntfj 
much else, in his table-drawer. " Up and down is the woria ' 
way," said he : " it is wonderful to contemplate ; " and w* 
will further listen how it went with Maria Grubbe, theicoy 
not forgetting Chicken-Grethe that sits quietly in her chicken- 
bouse. Maria Grubbe did not sit as peacefully in her time. 

The winter passed, and spring and summer went, and the 
stormy autumn came again with sleet and rain. It was a 
monotonous life, a wearisome life, there in the old homestead. 

And Maria Grubbe seized her gun, and went out upon 
the heath to shoot hares and foxes, and what birds she could 
hit. On such occasions she often met with sportsmen ; and 
once she met the noble baronet, Herr Palle Dyne, from Nor- 
rebdk. He was there, with his gun and dogs. He was a 
tall and powerful man, and liked much to boast of his 
strength, when they talked together. He might have been a 
match for the famous Herr Broekenhuus, from Egeskoi, at 
Fyen, who lives yet in the memory of the people, as a man of 
wonderful strength. Like him, had Palle Dyne fastened an 
iron chain, with a bugle, over his gateway ; and when he re- 
turned from the hunt, he was wont to seize that chain with 
his hands, lift himself and horse from the ground, and blow 
the bugle. 

" You must come to my castle and see that, Frau Maria,' 
*aid he ; " we have fine and bracing air at Norrebok." 

At what particular time she came to Norrebok is not re- 
orded ; but upon the candlesticks in Norrebok church was 
vritten, that they were presented by Palle Dyne and Maria 
Grubbe, from Norrebok castle. Strength of body had Palle 
Dyne : he could drink like a sponge ; he was like a barrel 
that could not be filled, and he snored like a whole pig-sty, 
<ud looked red and puffed. 

" A hog and a fool is he/' said Frau Palle Dyne, Grubbe's 
daughter ; and she grew very soon tired of him, and with the 
Hfe she led, and it became no better. 

One day dinner was ready, and the dishes grew ccld ; Palle 
Dyne was out to hunt the fox, and Frau Dyne could not be 

j 

found. Palle Dyne came home at midnight ; Frau Dyne did 



CHICKEN-GRETHE 'S FAMILY. 429 

not come home at midnight, neither the following morning* 
She had turned her back on Norrebok, and rode off without 
good-by or farewell. 

The weather was cold and rainy, and the wind was high ; a 
flock of black and croaking birds passed over her : they were 
not as houseless as she was. 

She rode first southward, near to the German Empire j a 
few gold rings with precious stones, were converted into ready 
money. Then she turned to the east, and then toward the 
west ; she rode without aim, and was angry with everything 
and everybody, even with the good Lord Himself. She felt 
very wretched, and soon her body became so too : it could 
scarcely digest its food. The lapwing was scared from the 
little hill upon which she fell down. The birds screamed as 
they always do, " You thief, you thief." Never had she stolen 
her neighbors' goods ; but bird's eggs and young birds had she 
taken, when a child, from the little hills and the big trees. 
All this came to her mind. 

She could see the reed grass upon the beach from where 
she lay ; there dwelt some fishermen : but she could not go so 
far, she was too sick. The large white cormorant came flying 
over her, and screeched as the rocks, crows, and jackdaws did 
at home among the garden trees, where she had lived when a 
child. The birds came nearer and nearer ; at last they 
seemed to turn black, and then it grew entirely black before 
her eyes. 

When she again opened her eyes, she felt that she was 
lifted up and carried away, a tall and strong man had taken 
her in his arms. She looked straight into his hoary face ; he 
had a scar over one eye, so that his eyebrow looked as if split 
in two. He carried her, sick as she was, to the vessel, where 
they received him with hard words for bringing home such 
burden. 

The vessel set sail the next day. Maria Grubbe was not 
left on shore, she had to go with them. Will she ever re- 
turn home ? Yes ! but when and how ? 

Degnen knew about that also, and it was no tale composed 
by himself ; he had the whole remarkable story from a trust- 
worthy book, which we ourselves can take up and read. The 



STORIES AND TALES. 

Danish historian, Ludwig Holberg, who has written so many 
readable books, and so many merry comedies, through which 
we can get acquainted with his time and its people, speaks of 
Maria Grubbe in his letters, where and in what part of the 
world he met her. It is worth our while to hear him ; but, 
for all that, we will not forget Chicken-Grethe, who sits so 
merry and good in her stately chicken-house. 

The vessel sailed away with Maria Grubbe .... it was 
there we left off. Years passed, and years passed. The pest 
was raging in Copenhagen in the year 1711. The Queen of 
Denmark moved to her German homestead, the King left his 
kingdom's capital. Every one who could, hurried away. The 
students also, and even such as had free room and board, trot- 
ted out of the city. One of them, the last that yet was left 
of the so-called Borch's College, near the palace, was now 
leaving. It was two o'clock in the morning ; he went with his 
knapsack filled more with books and manuscripts than with 
clothes. A raw, damp mist was hanging over the city. Not 
one human being was seen in the streets through which ho 
passed. All around, upon gateways and doors, stood written 
the significant cross, a token that the malady was there, or 
that all the people had died. And even in the broad and 
winding Codmanger Street was not a man to be seen, that 
was the name of the street from the round tower to the king's 
palace. Suddenly an ammunition wagon came rattling by ; 
the driver cracked his whip, urging the horses 'nto a gallop. 
The young student pressed his hands to his face, breathing 
the fumes of a strong spiritus from a sponge which he carried 
in a brass box. From the tavern, in one of the streets, came 
sounds of songs and loathsome laughter, people were drink- 
ing away the night to forget that Death stood at the door, 
beckoning them to follow him upon the ammunition wagon, 
with the other dead men. The student hurried toward the 
palace bridge ; he saw two vessels there, one of them casting 
loose, to get away from the infected city. 

" If God grants us life, and if we also get wind enough, we 
go to Gronsund on Falster/ 1 said the shipmaster ; and then 
asked the student, who wished to go with him, what his name 
was. 



CHICKEN- GRETHE'S FAMILY. 431 

" Ludwig Holberg," l said the student ; and that naraa 
Bounded like any other name. Now it sounds like one oi 
Denmark's proudest names , at that time he was only a young, 
unknown student. 

The vessel passed by the castle. It was not yet daylight 
when they came out into the open sea. Then came a light 
breeze, the sails swelled, the young student turned his face 
toward the fresh winds and fell overboard into the vater : 
and that was not exactly what he ought to have done. 

On the morning of the third day, the vessel was alrcadv at 
anchor off Falster. 

"Do you know of anybody in this place, with whom I can 
board for little money ? ' asked Holberg of the captain. 

" I believe you will do best to go to the ferry-master's wife, 
in Borrehuus," said he. " If you would be very polite, call 
her Mother Soren Sorensen Moller ; but there is danger of 
turning her head, if you flatter her too much. Her husband 
was arrested for some crime, therefore she manages the ferry- 
boat herself. What fists she has ! " 

The student seized his knapsack, and went to the ferry- 
house. The door was not locked ; he lifted the latch, and 
stepped right into the stone-paved room, where a big double 
bedstead, with ample feather-beds, was the most noticeable 
object. A white hen, with small chickens, was tethered to 
the bedstead, and she had upset the washbowl ; the water was 
running all over the floor. Nobody was there, except a child 
in the adjoining chamber, that lay in a cradle. He looked 
out of the window : the ferry-boat came back with only one 
person in it. Whether it was man or woman, was hard to tell. 
The person was wrapt in a big coat, with a hood drawn over 
its head. Now the boat was fastened : and a woman it was 
that entered the room. She looked rather imposing, as she 
stood up straight. Two proud eyes were set under two black 
eyebrows. And that was Mother Soren, the ferry-master s 
wife. The rooks, crows, and jackdaws persisted in croaking 
another name more familiar to us. 

Stern she looked, and cared little to talk much. In a few 
words she agreed tha f the student might remain with her and 

1 Holberg is the name of an eminent Danish writer, who died in 1754 



432 STORIES AND TALES. 

board for a while, until things should look better in Copen- 
hagen. 

Now and then a pair of honest burghers, from the neight 
boring trading village, came out to the ferry-house. There 
came Frands Knivsmed, and Sivert Posekiger ; they drank a 
mug of ale in the ferry-house, and sat discussing with the stu- 
dent. He was a clear-headed young man, that knew his 
preachings, as they called it ; he read Greek and Latin, and 
knew about many learned things. 

" The less one knows, the less one is oppressed by it," said 
Mother Soren, when they talked to her about the student and 
his learning. 

" It is too hard for you," said Holberg one day, when he 
saw her soak the linen in the strong lye, and then split the 
knotty stumps, to get firewood. 

" That is my business," said she. 

" Have you always, from childhood, been obliged to drudge 
and slave in this way ? " 

"You might read the answer in my fists," was her reply, 
showing him at the same time two small, but strong and 
hard hands, with workworn nails. 

" You can read, can't you ? ' 

Came Christmas time, and heavy snowfall, and Jack Frost 
made himself at home, sending out his winds to blow fiercely, 
as if they washed people's faces with snow-water. Mother 
Soren cared for neither ; throwing the cloak around her, and 
the hood over her head, she went about her business. It 
grew dark in the house early in the afternoons, and then she 
would throw pitch-pine on the fire-place, and wood, and sit 
down by it and darn her stockings ; there was no one else to 
do it. Toward the end of the day she had spoken more 
words to the student than she was in the habit of doing : she 
had spoken about her husband. 

*' He has by accident committed manslaughter upon a 
Drago-shipper : and that's why they have put him in irons, 
and make him work for three years on the island. He is 
only a common sailor ; and therefore, you know the la\ 
must have its course." 

" The law is made for the higher classes also," said Hoi 
berg. 



CHICKEN-GRETHES FAMILY. 433 

" Do you think so ? " said Mother Soren, and stared into 
the fire ; and, after a while, continued : " Have you heard the 
story of K-*y Lykke, who ordered one of his churches to be 
torn down , and when the preacher, Mads, thundered against 
it from his pulpit, he had him put in irons, and thrown into 
prison ; and then appointed himself judge and jury, found him 
guilty of high crime, condemned him to be beheaded, and had 
his head cut off. Was that an accident's doing ? I trow not ; 
and yet Kay Lykke was never punished." 

" He was in his right, according to the fashion of his time," 
said Holberg ; " but we are beyond that." 

" Try to make fools believe that," said Mother Soren, and 
she rose from her seat, and went into the chamber where 
Josen, the baby, lay. After having cleaned and aired it, she 
made the student's bed ; he had the big feather-bed, being 
more sensitive to cold than she was, although he was born 
in Norway. 

New Year's Day came ; it was a beautiful, clear, and 
sunny morning. There had been such severe frost that the 
snow-banks had frozen so hard one could walk upon them. 
The bells in the village called the people to church. The 
student, Holberg, wrapped himself in his woolen cloak, and 
started to go. Rooks drew croaking and screeching over 
Borrehuus ; so did the crows and jackdaws ; they made such 
a noise, you could hardly hear the church-bells. Mother So- 
ren was in the yard filling a brass kettle with snow, to melt 
it over the fire, to get drinking-water. She gazed at the 
swarm of dusky birds, and had her own thoughts. 

Student Holberg went to church, and on his way back 
passed Sivert Posekiger's house. He stood in his doorway, 
and invited him to come in and warm himself with a bowl of 
warm beer, with molasses and ginger in it. Their conversa- 
tion turned upon Mother Soren ; but Posekiger knew little 
about her : there were not many that did ; she was no native 
of Falster." She had probably seen better days," said he. 
*' Her husband was a common sailor, with a hot temper ; he 
had killed a Drago-shipper ; he beat his wife, and yet she al- 
ways would take his part." 

" / should never stand such treatment," said Posekiger's 
18 



434 



STORIES AND TALKS. 



wife, " and I am also of good family ; my father was ft. 

king's stocking weaver." 

" And that is why you are also wedded to a royal official,' 
said Holberg, bowing to her and her husband. 

Epiphany Eve came, and Mother Soren lit a candle for the 
Three Holy Kings : that is, three small tallow candles, which 
she herself had prepared. 

" A candle for every man," said Holberg. 

" Every man ! " exclaimed the woman, looking sternly at 
him. 

" Every wise man from the East," said Holberg. 

" O so ! " said she, and sat silent for a while. But on that 
Three Holy Kings' Eve, he learned many things that he 
did not know before. 

" You have a kind feeling for him you are wedded to," said 
Holberg ; " and yet people tell me that he treated you badly 
every day." 

" That touches none but myself," said Mother Soren. 
"These blows would have done me good, had I received 
them when a child ; now I get them, probably, to atone for 
my sins. I only know the good he has done me," and here 
she rose straight up. " When I fell down on the heath, sick 
aad weak, and nobody moved to come to my assistance, un- 
less it were the rooks, the crows, and the jackdaws (and they 
only came to pick at me), he came and carried me in his arms, 
and received harsh words for bringing home such booty to 
the ship. I am not made of so light stuff, to be sick, and 
therefore recovered soon. Ever) 7 one has his faults, and Soren 
his his. One must not judge the horse by the halter. With 
Soren 1 have had a pleasanter life than with him they called 
the gieatest and most polished man of all the king's subjects. 
I have been married to Governor Gyldenlove, half-brother 
to the king. After him, I took Palle Dyne. Hip for hap ! 
Eyery one after his fashion, and I after mine. That was a 
long prattle, and now you know it." And Mother Soren left 
the room. 

This was Maria Grubbe, with whom fortune's ball had 
oeen rolling so wonderfully. She did not live to see rnanv 
more Epiphany feasts. Holberg has it noted in his book 



CHICKEN-GRETHE'S FAMTLY. 



435 



that she died in 1716; but he has not written down, and 
probably did not know it, that when Mother Soren, as they 
called her, lay on her sick-bed at Borrehuus, a multitude ot 
dark, big birds flew away over her house, noiselessly, without 
screeching, as if they weie aware that silence belonged to a 
burial. As soon as she was under the earth, the birds left, 
but were seen on that very evening in Jylland, on the very 
homestead, in unusual number. Rooks, crows, and jackdaws 
screamed in each other's ears as if they had a great deal to 
tell : they croaked, perhaps, of him who, when a boy, robbed 
them of their eggs and young ones, the peasant boy, who re- 
ceived a garter of iron from the king, and was kept on King's 
island, and also of the high-born young lady that died a 
ferry-woman at Gronsund. 

" Right, right ! " they croaked. 

And the whole tribe croaked " Right, right ! " when the old 
castle was pulled down. " And this they cry yet, when there 
is nothing to croak about," said Degnen, when he had finished 
the story. 

The family had died out, the castle was torn down, and 
where that stood, stands now the chicken-house, with a gilt 
weather-cock at the top, and with old Chicken-Grethe within : 
she sits there, well pleased with her dwelling. Had she not 
come there, she would have been in the poor-house. The 
doves sat cooing above her, the chickens tattled around her, 
and the ducks gaggled. Nobody knew her ; relations she 
had not ; out of charity she came there, and offspring she had 
none. But, for all that, she had relatives. She knew them 
not ; neither did Degnen, in spite of all the written stuff that 
was in his table-drawer. But one of the crows knew them, 
ind he told of it. He had heard of her mother and grand- 
mother of Chicken-Grethe's mother and grandmother, whom 
we also know, when she, as a child, rode over the draw- 
bridge, and looked so proudly about, as if the whole world, 
ir>d all the birds, belonged to her ; we saw her also in the 
heath, and in Borrehuus. Her grandchild, the last of the 
family, had come home again, where the family castle had 
stood, where the dusky wild birds croaked ; but she sat among 
her tame birds, known by them, and on friendly terms witB 
W>em, well pleased with life, and old enough to die. 



436 STORIES AND TALES. 

' Grave, grave ! " croaked the crows. And Chicken-Grethe 
was laid in a nice grave. Nobody knows where it is, except 
the old crow, unless he also has died. 

And now we are acquainted with the story of the old castle, 
And Chicken-Grethe's whole family. 



THE BIRD OF POPULAR SONG. 

IT is winter time ; earth has a sheet of snow, looking like 
marble hewn from a quarry ; the sky is high and clear ; 
tht wind is as sharp as an elfin sword ; the trees stand like 
wh:te corals, like blooming almond branches ; we breathe the 
freshness, as it were, of alpine heights. Beautiful is night 
with streaming Northern Lights and countless glittering stars. 

The storms come ; the clouds arise, scattering forth swan 
leathers ; the snow-flakes drift ; they cover the hollow lane, 
and the house it leads to, the open field, and the close streets. 
But we sit in the snug room, by the ruddy fire, and tell tales 
of olden times. Now listen to a legend. 

" Near the open sea stood a warrior's grave, and there a* 
midnight sat the spectre of the buried hero ; a king had he 
been ; the golden ring encircled his brow ; his hair fluttered 
in the wind ; he was clad in iron and steel ; his head drooped 
heavily, and he sighed like the sighing of an unhallowed 
spirit. 

" Then a ship neared the shore. The men cast anchor and 
came to land. Among them was a Scald ; he drew nigh unto 
the kingly shape, and asked, saying, ' What is thy sorrow and 
thy suffering ? ' 

" Then answered the dead, ' No one hath sung of my feats ; 
they are dead and gone. Song hath never borne them over 
the lands and into the hearts of men ; therefore I have never 
rest nor peace.' 

" And he recounted his labors and bold exploits ; the men 
of his own time had known them, but not sung them, for there 
was then no singer in the land. 

4 ' Then the old Scald struck the strings of the harp, and 
he sang of the hero, of his daring m youth, his strength in 
manhood, and the greatness of his noble deeds. The face 
of the dead brightened therewith, like the edge of the cloud 



4.38 STORIES AND TALES. 

in moonlight ; joyful and blest arose the form in beams of 
glory, and vanished like a trail of the Northern Lights. 
There was nothing left but the green turfy mound with the 
runeless stones ; but over it, at the last clang of the chords, 
even as if it had come out of the harp, soared a little bird, 
a, most beautiful song-bird, with the ringing melodies of the 
thrush, with the speaking melodies of the human heart, home- 
land tunes, as the bird of passage hears them. The song- 
bird flew over hill and dale, over wood and field. It was the 
Bird of Popular Song, that never dies." 

We hear the song, we listen to it now in the winter evening, 
while the white bees are swarming outside, and the storm-wind 
shakes the house. The bird sings not only hero lays, it has 
many a sweet and plaintive song of love in the North, so ten- 
der and so true ; it gives us fairy tales in tones and words ; 
it has proverbs and mystic rhymes that make the old world 
speak, runes laid under a dead man's tongue. We know its 
home-land ; it is the Bird of Popular Song ! 

In the heathen days of yore, in the Viking times, its nest 
was in the harp of the bard. In the days of the baron's 
castle, when the iron fist held the scales of justice, and 
power was right, when the peasant and the dog were of equal 
value, where then did the singing-bird find a shelter and nest? 
Brutality and servility took no heed of it. In the bay-window 
of the castle, where the lady sat over her parchment, and 
wrote down old records in song or in legend ; in the turf-built 
hut, where the wandering peddler sat on the bench by the 
good-wife, and told her tales, there above them fluttered 
and flew, twittered and sang the bird that never dies, as long 
as earth has a green mound for its foot, the Bird cf Pop- 
ular Song. 

Now it sings for us in here. Out of doors are night and 
snow-storm the bird lays runes under our tongue, and we 
know our home-land. God speaks our mother tongue to us 
in the melodies of the song-bird : and olden times arise before 
us ; the faded colors grow fresh again ; song and tale cheer us 
with a blessed draught, that lifts both mind and soul till the 
evening seems like a Christmas feast. The snow is drifting, 
the ice is crashing, the storm-wind is their king and master , 
he is a lord, but not our Lord. 



THE BIRD OF POPULAR SONG. 439 

If is winter time ; the wind is sharp like an elfin sword \ 
the snow is drifting ; it has been drifting, so it seems, for 
days and weeks, and lies like a monstrous snowberg upon the 
great town a heavy dream in the winter night. All beneath 
is shrouded and shapeless ; only the golden cross on the 
church, the symbol of faith, rises above the snow-grave, and 
glitters in the blue air, in clear sunshine. 

And away over the buried town fly the birds, the small 
and the great ones ; they chirp and sing as best they may, each 
bird in his own tongue. 

First comes the flock of sparrows ; they chirp about all the 
odds and ends in street and lane, in the nest and in the house ; 
they know stories of the kitchen and of the drawing-room. 
'* We know that buried town," so they say ; " every living 
soul there has cheep, cheep, cheep ! " 

The black raven and crows fly away over the white snow. 
" Scrape, scrape ! " they scream ; " down below there is some- 
thing still to pick, something for the maw, this is the main 
thing ; people down there think much the same, and what 
they think is, craw, craw craw ! ' 

The wild swans come on whistling wings, and sing of the 
greatness and the glory there are still springing in the thoughts 
and hearts of men down in the snow-wrapt slumber of yonder 
city. That is not the sleep of death ; life is at the fountain- 
nead ; we are warned of its presence there by tones of music, 
now solemn as an organ-peal, now thrilling as a strain from 
thf elfin mound, now like an Ossianic song, and now like the 
winged rush of a Valkyria. Hark ! what a wondrous har- 
mony! It speaks into our inmost heart, it lifts our soul.it 
is the Bird of Popular Song we hear. And now, even new, 
God's warm breath breathes from above ; the snow-cover 
splits, the sun shines through it ; spring is at hand ; the birds 
*re coming new races with the same old homely tones. Lis- 
ten to the Drapa of the year ! the mighty snow-storm, the win- 
ter night's drowsy dream ; their bonds shall be broken, and al 
this buried life shall rise again, at the beautiful Voice of Pop 
alar Song the bird that never dies. 



THE TEA-POT. 

^T^HERE was a proud Tea-pot, proud of being poicelaioj 
J. proud of its long spout, proud of its broad handle ; it 
had something before and behind: the spout before, the 
handle behind, and that was what it talked about ; but it did 
not talk of its lid that was cracked, it was riveted, it had 
defects, and one does not talk about one's defects, there are 
plenty of others to do that. The cups, the cream pot, and 
sugar bowl, the whole tea-service would be reminded much 
more of the lid's imperfection and talk about that, than of 
the sound handle and the remarkable spout. The Tea-pot 
knew it. 

" I know you," it said within itself, " I know, too, my imper- 
fection, and I am well aware that in that very thing is seen 
my humility, my modesty. Imperfections have we all, but 
then one also has an endowment. The cups get a handle, 
the sugar bowl a lid, I get both, and one thing besides in 
front which they never got. I get a spout, and that makes 
me a queen on the tea-table. The sugar bowl and cream pot 
are allowed to be tasty serving maids, but I am the one who 
gives, yes, the one high in council. I spread abroad a bless- 
ing among thirsty mankind. In my insides the Chinese 
leaves are worked up in the boiling, tasteless water." 

All this said the Tea-pot in its fresh young life. It stood 
on the table that was spread for tea, it was lifted by a very 
delicate hand : but the very delicate hand was awkward, the 
Tea-pot fell, the spout snapped off, the handle snapped off, 
the lid was no worse to speak of the worst had been spoken 
of that The Tea-pot lay in a swoon on the floor, while the 
boiling water ran out of it. It was a horrid shame, but the 
worst was that they jeered at it , they jeered at it and not a* 
he awkward hand. 

" I never shall lose that recollection ! " said the Tea-pot 



THE TEA-POT. 441 

when it afterward talked to itself of the course ef its life. " I 
was called an invalid, and placed in a corn r, and the da> 
after was given away to a woman who begged victuals. I fell 
into poverty, and stood dumb both outside and in, but there 
as I stood, began my better life. One is one thing and be- 
comes quite another. Earth was ptaced in me : for a Tea-pot 
that is the same as being buried, but in the earth was placed 
a flower bulb. Who placed it there, who gave it, I know not ; 
given it was, and it became a compensation for the Chinese 
leaves and the boiling water, a compensation for the broken 
handle and spout. And the bulb lay in the earth, the bulb 
lay in me, it became my heart, my living heart, such as I 
never before had possessed. There was life in me, power 
and might : the pulses beat, the bulb put forth sprouts, it was 
the springing up of thoughts and feelings : they burst forth 
in flower. I saw it, I bore it, I forgot myself in ; ts delight. 
Blessed is it to forget one's self in another. It gave me no 
thanks, it did not think of me it was admired and praised. 
I was so glad at that : how happy must it not have been- One 
day I heard it said that it deserved a better pot. I was 
thumped hard on my back that was a great affliction ; but 
the flower was put in a better pot and I was thrown away 
in the yard where I lie as an old potsherd ; but I hai e 
memory : that I can never lose. 



THE MUSE OF THE COMING AGE. 



r T^IIE Muse of the Coming Age, whom our great grand- 
X children, or possibly a later generation still, but not our- 
selves, shall make acquaintance with, how does she manifest 
herself? What is her face and form ? What is the burden of 
her song ? Whose heart-strings shall she touch ? To what 
summit shall she lift her century ? 

What questions these, for a busy day as ours ? when 
poesy comes nigh to being in the way ; when it is well known 
that the very " immortal " productions of to-day's poets will, 
in the future, perhaps exist but in the form of charcoal trac- 
ings on a prison wall, a bait and food for hunters of curiosi- 
ties. 

Poesy is required to do service in the battle-ranks, at the 
very least to bear the challenge in the wars of party, whether 
it be blood or ink that flow therein. 

This is a partial version, some will say ; poesy has not 
grown obsolete. 

Nay, there are yet men who on their holiday grow conscious 
of an appetite for poetry ; and, certes, no sooner do they feel 
that spiritual rumbling in their comparatively nobler parts, than 
forthwith is made a levy on the man of books for no less than 
four shillings' worth of poetry, of styles the most approved. 
Others take much pleasure in such as they can find thrown 
into bargains ; they draw contentment from the scrap that's 
on the grocer's wrapper : 'tis so much cheaper and econ- 
omy is wealth ! Demand is found for what there is supplied ; 
and that is enough ! The future's poetry, no less than the 
future's music, is reckoned with the Don Quixotiana ; to speak 
of it were much like speaking of a voyage of discovery to 
Uranus. 

Time is too brief and precious for mere sport of fan- 
tasy j and what is to speak seriously for once what ij 



THE MUSE OF THE COMING AGE. 



443 



Potsy ? These resonant expectorations of feeling and of 
thought, they are but offspring df the nerves' vibrations. En- 
thusiasm, joy, and paia, and all the organism's movements, the 
savants tell us, are but nerve-vibrations. We, each of us, are 
but ^Eolian harps. 

But who touches these strings ? Who causes them to vi- 
brate and to sound? The Spirit, the Godhead's unseen 
Spirit, who echoes in them his emotion, his feeling ; and these 
are understood of the fellow-harps, which respond in melting 
harmonies or else in strong-contracting dissonance. Such was 
it, and such will it be, in mankind's grand onward march in 
freedom's consciousness. 

Each century each world's age, one may likewise say 
has its chief expression in its poetry 7 : born in the passing era, 
it issues forth and reigns in the new era which succeeds. 

Thus, 'mid to-day's roar of machinery, she is already born, 
the Muse of the Coming Age. Our welcome to her 1 
may she hear it, or read it on a time, perchance among the 
charcoal tracings which we mentioned erst ! 

The rocking of her cradle reached from the farthest point 
trod by man's foot on polar voyage, so far as eye can peer into 
the polar sky's jet depth. We never heard the rocking for 
engine-clatter, locomotive-scream, the thunder of the quarry- 
blast, and the bursting of the ancient mental fetters. 

In the vast workshop of the present she is born, where 
steam exerts his sinews, and where Master Bloodless and his 
lads are toiling day and night. 

She rnlds the womanly heart of love, the vestal's sacred 
flame, and passion's furnace. Reason's ray, in all its never- 
nding, shifting prismic hues of ages, is hers. Fancy's vast 
Bwany tunic is her pride and strength ; weft of science the 
" elemental forces " gave it power of wing. 

On father's side, she is of the people's blood, sound of 

sense and heart, with earnest eye, and humor on her lips, 

Mother is the high-born, academy-schooled emigrant's * daugh- 

er, with the golden Rococo reminiscences. The Muse of th 

Coming Age has blood and soul in her of both. 

1 Referring to the emigration of the first French Revoluti m. 



444 STORIES AND TALES.} 

Splendid birthday gifts were laid upon her ciadle. la 

plenty, as 'twere sugar-plums, are strewn there Nature's oc- 
cult riddles, with their solutions. The diver's bell yields mys- 
tic " knickknacks "' from the deep. The heavens' chart, 
that lofty-hung Pacific Ocean with its myriad isles, each a 
world x was broidered in the cradle-cloth. The sun her pic- 
lures painted ; photography her toys provides. 

The nurse has sung to her of Eivind Skalde-spiller ami 
Firdusi, of the Minnesingers, and what Heine, boyish-bold, 
sang from his very poet's soul. Much, all too much, the nur^e 
has told her ; she knows the Edda, the old great-grandam 's 
mother's frightful-sounding tales, where horrors sweep the air 
on bloodv winsf. The entire Orient's " Thousatid-Nights-and~ 

* o o 

One " she heard in the fourth part of an hour. 

The Muse of the Coming Age is but a child ; yet she has 
sprung from out the swathing-clothes, is full of will, though 
still not knowing what she wills. 

And now she is at play in her vast play-house, filled with 
gems of art and rococo. Greek tragedy and Roman comedy 
stand sculptured there in marble. The hymns of the nations, 
like withered vines, festoon the walls : her breath upon them, 
and in fresh perfume they blossom forth. The tones and 
thoughts of Mozart, Gliick, Beethoven, and the great masters all, 
encircle her in sempiternal chords. On her book-shelves many 
are laid to rest who in their time immortal were ; and room 
is yet for many another, whose name, but erst heard clicking 
from the telegraph of immortality, dies with the telegram. 

Fearfully much she has read, all too much, (for is she not 
born of our age ?) and woefully much must again be forgotten ; 
but i:ie Muse, she will know how to forget. 

She thinks not of her song, which shall live and flourish in 
millenniums to come, by the side of Moses* legends and Bid- 
t>ais gold-crowned fable of Reynard's craft and luck. She 
thinks not of her mission, nor of her tuneful future ; she still 
is toying, \\hile the nations' strifes yet stir the air, and sound- 
figures of pen and cannon mingle to and fro, runes of mys- 
tic reading. 

She wears a Garibaldi hat, and meanwhile reads her Shakes 
freare, and for a moment stops to think : When I am grown, At 



THE MUSh OF THE COMING AGE. 445 

may at last be acted! Calderon rests in the sarcophagus of 
his works, under the tablet of fame. Holberg for the Muse 
is cosmopolitan she has bound together with Moliere^ Plau- 
/*:j, and Aristophanes ; but most she reads Molicre. 

She is free from the unrest thai: drives the chamois of "lie 
Alps, and still her soul pants for die salt of life as does he 
chamois for the mountain salt ; a calm floats through ;ier 
heart, as in the ancient Hebrew tales the nomad's voice .vas 
wafted o'er green plains 'neath starry skies ; and still in song 
her heart swells mightier than the Thessalonian warrior's in- 
spired bosom in the Grecian eld. 

How is it with her Christendom ? She has learned philos- 
ophy's ins and outs ; the elements broke one of her milk- 
teeth, but a new one did grow after ; the fruit of knowledge 
she tasted when yet in the cradle, ate and grew wise, so 
that " I?nmortality " flashed out from her in mankind's genial 
thought. 

When begins the Coming Age of Poesy ? When shall the 
Muse be known ? When heard ? 

On a wondrous spring morning, on the locomotive dragon 
shall she come, careering over viaducts and through dark tun- 
nels ; or else on the puffing dolphin's back across the bland 
but mighty sea ; or else in air borne on the pinions of Mont- 
golfier's Bird Roc, alighting in the land whence first her god- 
like voice shall greet the race of Man. Whence ? Is it from 
Columbus 's new-found land, the Land of Freedom, where 
the Aborigine is game, and the African a beast of burden ? 
the land wherefrom we heard the song of Hiawatha ? Is it 
from the quarter of antipodes, that golden island in the 
Southern Sea, the land of opposites, where black swans 
sing in mossy forests ? Or from the land where Mention's 
pillar rang and rings, but we understood not the desert- 
dwelling sphinx of song? Is it from the isle of anthracite, 
where 5 \akespeare, since the age of Elizabeth, has reigned ? 
Is it from Tycho Braye's home, which suffered him not ; of 
r rom California's adventurous shore, where the Wellingtonea 
fts her heid, the queen of all earth's forests ? 

When shall the star be 'it, tne star on the Muse's brow t 
the blossom in whose petals is inscribed the future's thought 
of beauty in form, and tint, and fragrance ? 



446 



STORIES AND TALS. 



" What is the Muse's platform ? " queries the astute politi 
cian of the day. " What will she ? " 

Better ask what will she not ! 

She will not appear a ghost of times defunct ! she will not 
build dramas from the shining shards of olden scenes, nor 
deck the bungles of dramatic architecture with the flaunting 
h jes of lyric drapery ! her flight forth from among us will 
be as from the car of Thespis to the marble amphitheatre. 
She will not shatter healthy human speech to fragments, and 
clink these together for a music-box with tones of trouba- 
dour-tourneys. Nor will she blazon Verse patrician and plain 
Prose plebeian ! twin-paired are they in voice, and sense, and 
might. Nor will she chisel out from Iceland's saga-blocks 
the ancient gods ! for they are dead : nor sympathy nor fel- 
lowship awaits them of our day ! Nor will she bid her gener- 
ation hide their thought in French-novel fabric ; nor will she 
numb them with the chloroform of e very-day historic ! a life- 
elixir will she bring : her song in verse or prose is brief, and 
clear, and rich ! The nations' heart-beats, each but a letter 
in the endless alphabet of growth, she grasps the letters 
each with equ.il lovingness, and ranges them in words and 
weaves her words in rhythms for her Age's Hymn. 

And when shall the hour be full ? 

'Twill be long tu us, who yet are lingering back ; 'tis brief 
for those who flew ahead. 

Soon falls the Chinese Wall. Europe's railways hedge old 
Asia's fast-sealed culture-archives, the opposing streams o( 
human culture meet ! mayhap with thunderous clang re- 
sounds the whirl ; the wiseacres of our time will tremble 
with the sound and hear therein a judgment, the fall of the 
ancient gods ; forgetting that hereneath may times and peoples 
>ass away, and but a little image, locked in a word-casket, re- 
nam of each, floating as a lotus flower on eternity's stream 
^r.d telling us that they all were flesh of our flesh, in various 
garb: the Jewish image shines radiant from the Bible; the 
Greek from the Iliad and the Odyssce ; and ours ? Inquire 
of the Coming Muse, at the judgment, when the new heaven 
"s lifted into light and sight. 

A1J powei of steam, all prints of modern times were lifting 



THE MUSE OF THE COMING AGE. 447 

levers ! Master Bloodless and his busy lads, who seem out 
day's all-powerful kings, are but its servants, blackmooi 
slaves, which adorn the festive hall, unmask its treasures, deck 
it3 boards, for the great feast-day when the Muse a child 
of innocence, a maid of inspiration, a matron of sweet calm 
and wisdom shall lift on high the wondrous Lamp of Poesy,, 
the rich, full, human heart, aflame with fire of God. 

Be greeted, thou Muse of Poesy's Coming Age ! may our 
greeting be lifted up and heard, as the cricket's hymn of 
thanks is heard, the cricket that beneath the plough ia 
crushed, while a new spring-time is dawning and the plough- 
share draws its furrow through us crickets, crushing us, that 
health may blossom to the Coming Generation. 

Be greeted, O Muse of the Coming Age 1 



THE WILL-O-THE-W1SP IS IN THE TOWN,* 

SAYS THE MOOR-WOMAN. 



was a man who once knew many stories, but thtj 
JL had slipped away from him so he said. The Story 
that used to visit him of its own accord no longer came and 
knocked at his door : and why did it come no longer ? It is 
true enough that for days and years the man had not thought 
of it, had not expected it to come and knock ; and if he had 
expected it, it would certainly not have come ; for without 
there was war, and within was the care and sorrow that war 
brings with it. 

The stork and the swallows came back from their long jour 
ney, for they thought of no danger ; and, behold, when they 
arrived, the nest was burnt, the habitations of men were 
burnt, the hedges were all in disorder, and everything seemed 
gone, and the enemy's horses were stamping in the old graves. 
Those were hard, gloomy times, but they came to an end. 

And now they were past and gone, so people said ; and yet 
no story came and knocked at the door, or gave any tidings 
of its presence. 

" I suppose it must be dead, or gone away with many other 
things," said the man. 

But the story never dies. And more than a whole year 
went by, and he longed O, so very much ! for the story. 

" I wonder if the story will ever come back again, ami 
knock ? " 

And he remembered it so well in all the various forms in 
which it had come to him, sometimes young and charming, 
'ike spring itself, sometimes as a beautiful maiden, with a 
wreath of thyme in her hair, and a beechen branch in her 
ha*id, and with eyes that gleamed like deeo woodland lakei 
in the bright sunshine. 



"THE WILL-O'-THE-WISP fS IN THE TOWNS' 449 

Sometimes it had come to him in the guise of a peddlei, and 
had opened its box and let silver ribbon come fluttering out, 
With verses and inscriptions of old remembrances. 

But it was most charming of all when it came as an old 
grandmother, with silyery hair, and such large sensible eyes; 
she knew so well how to tell about the oldest times, long be- 
fore the Princesses spun with the golden spindles, and the 
dragons lay outside the castle, guarding them. She told with 
such an air of truth that black spots danced before the eyes 
of all who heard her, and the floor became black with human 
blood ; terrible to see and to hear, and yet so entertaining, 
because such a long time had passed since it all happened. 

" Will it ever knock at my door again ? " said the man ; and 
he gazed at the door, so that black spots came before his eyes 
and upon the floor ; he did not know if it was blood, or 
mourning crape from the dark heavy days. 

And as he sat thus, the thought came upon him, whether 
the story might not have hidden itself, like the Princess in the 
old tale ? And he would now go in search of it ; if he found 
it, it would beam in new splendor, lovelier than ever. 

" Who knows ? Perhaps it has hidden itself in the straw 
that balances on the margin of the well. Carefully, carefully ! 
Perhaps it lies hidden in a certain flower that flower in one 
of the great books on the book-shelf." 

And the man went and opened one of the newest books, to 
gain information on this point ; but there was no flower to be 
found. There he read about Holger Danske ; and the man 
read that the tale had been invented and put together by a 
monk in France ; that it was a romance, " translated into Dan- 
ish, and printed in that language ; " that Holger Danske had 
never really lived, and consequently could never come again, 
as we have sung, and have been so glad to believe. And 
William Tell was treated just like Holger Danske. These 
were all only myths nothing on which we could depend : 
and yet it is all written in a very learned book. 

" Well, I shall believe what I believe ! " said the man ; 
* there grows no plantain where no foot has trod." 

And he closed the book and put it back in its place, and 
went to the fresh flowers at the window ; perhaps the stoif 

29 



450 



STOAfES AND TALES. 



might have hidden itself in the red tulips, with the golden yel- 
low edges, or in the fresh rose, or in the beaming camellia. 
The sunshine lay among the flowers, but no story. 

The flowers which had been here in the dark troublous 
time had been much more beautiful ; but they had been cut 
off, one after another, to be woven into wreaths and placed in 
coffins, and the flag had waved over them ! Perhaps the 
story had been buried with the flowers ; but then the flowers 
would have known of it, and the coffin would have heard it, 
and every little blade of grass that shot forth would have told 
of it. The story never dies. 

Perhaps it has been here once, and has knocked but 
who had eyes or ears for it in those times ? People looked 
darkly, gloomily, and almost angrily at the sunshine of spring, 
at the twittering birds, and all the cheerful green ; the tongue 
could not even bear the old, merry, popular songs, and they 
were laid in the coffin with so much that our heart held dear. 
The story may have knocked without obtaining a hearing ; 
there was none to bid it welcome, and so it may have gone 
away. 

" I will go forth and seek it ! Out in the country ! out 
in the wood ! and on the open sea-beach ! " 

Out in the country lies an old manor-house, with red walls, 
pointed gables, and a red flag that floats on the tower. The 
nightingale sings among the finely fringed beech leaves, look- 
ng at the blooming apple-trees of the garden, and thinking 
that they bear roses. Here the bees are mightily busy in the 
summer time, and hover round their queen with their humming 
song. The autumn has much to tell of the wild chase, of the 
eaves of the trees, and of the races of men that are passmg 
away together. The wild swans sing at Christmas time on 
the open water, while in the old hall the guests by the fireside 
gladly listen to songs and to old legends. 

Down into the old part of the garden, where the great ave- 
nue of wild chestnut-trees lures the wanderer to tread its 
shades, went the man who was in search of the story ; foi 
here the \\rnd had once murmured something to him of 
** Waldemar Daae and his Daughters." The Dryad in the trc* 



"THE WILL-&-THE-WISPISIN THE TOWsV." 451 

who was the story-mother herself, had here told him the 
" Dream of the old Oak-tree." Here, in the time of the an- 
cestral mother, had stood clipped hedges, but now only ferns 
and stinging-nettles grew there, hiding the scattered fragments 
of old sculptured figures ; the moss is growing in their eyes, 
but they can see as well as ever, which was more than the man 
could do who was in search of the story, for he could not find 
it. Where could it be? 

The crows flew past him by hundreds across the old trees, 
and screamed, " Krah ! da ! Krah ! da ! ' 

And he went out of the garden, and over the grass-plot of 
the yard, into the alder grove ; there stood a little six-sided 
house, with a poultry-yard and a duck-yard. In the middle 
of the room sat the old woman, who had the management of 
the whole, and who knew accurately about every egg that was 
laid, and about every chicken that could creep out of an egg. 
But she was not the story of which the man was in search ; 
that she could attest with a Christian certificate of baptism 
and of vaccination that lay in her drawer. 

Without, not far from the house, is a hill covered with red- 
thorn and broom ; here lies an old grave-stone, which was 
brought here many years ago from the church-yard of the 
provincial town, a remembrance of one of the most honored 
councilors of the place ; his wife and his five daughters, all with 
folded hands and stiff ruffs, stand round him. One could look 
at them so long, that it had an effect upon the thoughts, and 
these reacted upon the stones, as if they were telling of old 
times ; at least it had been so with the man who was in search 
of the story. 

As he came nearer, he noticed a living butterfly sitting 
on the forehead of the sculptured councilor. The butterfly 
flapped its wings, and flew a little bit farther, and then re- 
turned fatigued to sit upor. the grave-stone, as if to point out 
vhat grew there. Four-leaved shamrocks grew there ; there 
vere seven specimens close to each other. When fortune 
:;omes, it conies in a heap. He plucked the shamrocks, and 
put them in his pocket. 

" Fortune is as good as red gold, but a new, charming story 
would be better still," thought the man ; but he could not find 
it here. 



452 



STORIES AND TALES. 



Ard Ihe sun went down, round and large; the meadcm 
was covered with vapor : the Moor-woman was at her brewing. 

It was evening ; he stood alone in his room, and looked out 
upon the sea, over the meadow, over moor and coast. The 
moon shone bright, a mist was over the meadow, making it 
look like a great lake ; and, indeed, it was once so, as the le- 
gend tells and in the moonlight the eye realizes these 
myths. 

Then the man thought of what he had been reading in the 
town, that William Tell and Holger Danske never really lived, 
but yet live in, popular story, like the lake yonder, a living evi- 
dence for such myths. Yes, Holger Danske will return again 1 

As he stood thus and thought, something beat quite strongly 
against the window. Was it a bird, a bat, or an owl ? Those 
are not let in, even when they knock. The window flew open 
of itself, and an old woman looked in at the man. 

" What's your pleasure ? " said he. " Who are you ? You're 
looking in at the first floor window. Are you standing on \\ 
ladder ? " 

" You have a four-leaved shamrock in your pocket," she 
replied. " Indeed, you have seven, and one of them is a six- 
leaved one." 

" Who are you ? " asked the man again. 

'' The Moor-woman," she replied. " The Moor-woman who 
brews. I was at it. The bung was in the cask, but one of 
the little moor-imps pulled it out in his mischief, and flung it 
up into the yard, where it beat against the window ; and now 
he beer's running out of the cask, and that won't do good to 
mybody." 

" Pray tell me some more ! " said the man. 

" Yes, wait a little," answered the Moor-woiaan." " I've 
something else to do just now." And she was gone. The 
man was going to shut the window, when the woman already 
stood before him again. 

" Now it 's done," she said ; " but I shall have half the beer 
to brew over again to-morrow, if the weather is suitable. 
Weil, what have you to ask me? I've come back, for I always 
keep my word, and you have seven four-leaved shamrocks IB 



"THE WILL-OP- THE-WISP IS IN THE TOWN." 453 

your pocket, and one of them is a six-leaved one. That in- 
spires respect, for that's an order that grows beside the sandy 
way ; but that every one does not find. What have you to 
ask me ? Don't stand there like a ridiculous oaf. for I must 
go back aga'n directly to my bung and my cask." 

And the man asked about the story, and inquired if the 
Moor- woman had met it in her journeyings. 

" By the big brewing-vat ! " exclaimed the woman ; " haven't 
you got stories enough ? I really believe that most people 
have enough of them. Here are other things to take notice 
of other things to examine. Even the children have gone 
beyond that. Give the little boy a cigar, and the little girl 
a new crinoline ; they like that much better. To listen to 
stories ! No, indeed, there are more important things to be 
done here, and other things to notice ! ' 

" What do you mean by that ? " asked the man ; " and what 
do you know of the world ? You don't see anything but frogs 
and will-o'-the-wisps ! ' 

" Yes, beware of the will-o'-the-wisps," said the moor-woman, 
" for they're out they're let loose that's what we must 
talk about ! Come to me in the moor, where my presence is 
necessary, and I will tell you all about it ; but you must make 
haste, and come while your seven four-leaved shamrocks, of 
\vhich one has six leaves, are still fresh, and the moon stands 
high ! " 

And the Moor-woman was gone. 

It struck twelve in the town, and before the last stroke had 
died away, the man was out in the yard, out in the garden, 
and stood in the meadow. The mist had vanishe-.l, and the 
Moor-woman stopped her brewing. 

" You've been a long time coming ! " said the Moor-woman. 
" Witches get forward faster than men, and I'm glad that I 
belong: to the witch folk ! " 

o 

" What have you to say to me now ? " asked the man. " Is 
it anything about the story ? ' 

" Can you never get beyond asking about that ? " retorted 
the woman. 

<: Can you tell me anything about the poetry of the future? 
resumed the man 



454 STORIES AND TALES. 

" Don't get on your stilts," said the crone, " and I'll answer 
you You think of nothing but poetry, and only ask about 
that Story, as if she were the lady of the whole troop. She 'a 
the oldest of us all, but she takes precedence of the youngest 
I know her well. I've been young, too, and she is no chicken 
now. I was once quite a pretty elf-maiden, and have danced 
in my time with the others in the moonlight, and have heard 
the nightingale, and have gone into the forest and met the 
story-maiden, who was always to be found out there, running 
about. Sometimes she took up her night's lodging in a half- 
blown tulip, or in a field flower ; sometimes she would slip 
into the church, and wrap herself in the mourning crape that 
hung down from the candles on the altar." 

" You are capitally well-informed," said the man. 

" I ought at least to know as much as you," answered the 
Moor-woman. " Stories and poetry yes, they're like two 
yards of the same piece of stuff: they can go and lie down 
where they like, and one can brew all their prattle, and have 
it all the better and cheaper. You shall have it from me for 
nothing. I've a whole cupboardful of poetry, in bottles. It 
makes essences ; and that's the best of it bitter and sweet 
herbs. I have everything that people want of poetry, in bot- 
tles, so that I can put a little on my handkerchief, on holidays, 
to smell." 

" Why, these are wonderful things that you're telling ! " said 
the man. ' ' You have poetry in bottles ? " 

" More than you can require," said the woman. " I sup- 
pose you know the history of ' The Girl who trod on the Loafi 
so that she might not soil her Shoes ? ' That has been writ- 
ten, and printed too." 

" I told that story myself," said the man. 

" Yes, then you must know it ; and you must know also that 
the girl sank into the earth directly, to the Moor-woman, just 
S3 Old Bogey's grandmother was paying her a morning visit 
10 inspect the brewery. She saw the girl gliding down, and 
asked to have her as a remembrance of her visit, and got her 
too ; while I received a present that's of no use to me a 
ravelling druggist's shop a whole cupboardful of poetry it 
oottles Grandmother told me where the cupboard was to Iw 



+ THE WILL-0-THE-WISP IS IN THE TOWN." 455 

placed, and there it 's standing still. Just look ! You've your 
seven four-leaved shamrocks in your pocket, one of which is a 
six-leaved one, and so you will be able to see it." 

And really, in the midst of the moor lay something like a 
great knotted block of alder, and that was the old grand- 
mother's cupboard. The Moor-woman said that this was al- 
ways open to her and to every one in the land, if they only 
knew where the cupboard stood. It could be opened either 
at the front or at the back, and at every side and corner a 
perfect work of art, and yet only an old alder stump in ap- 
pearance. The poets of all lands, and especially those of our 
own country, had been arranged here ; the spirit of them had 
been extracted, refined, criticised, and renovated, and then 
stored up in bottles. With what may be called great aptitude, 
if it was not genius, the grandmother had taken as it were the 
flavor of this and of that poet, and had added a little devilry, 
and then corked up the bottles for use during all future times. 

" Pray let me see," said the man. 

" Yes, but there are more important things to hear," replied 
the Moor-woman. 

" But now we are at the cupboard ! " said the man. And, 
he looked in. " Here are bottles of all sizes. What is in this 
one ? and what in that one yonder ? ' 

"Here is what they call may-balm," replied the woman: 
" I have not tried it myself. But I have not yet told you the 
' more important ' thing you were to hear. THE WILL-O'-THE- 
WISP is IN THE TOWN ! That's of much more consequence 
than poetry and stories. I ought, indeed, to hold my tongue ; 
but there must be a necessity a fate a something that 
slicks in my throat, and that wants to come out. Take care, 
you mortals ! ' 

" I don't understand a word of all this ! " cried the man. 

" Be kind enough to seat yourself on that cuptoard," she 
retorted, " but take care you don't fall through and break the 
bottles you know what's inside them. I must tell of the 
^reat event. It occurred no longer ago than the day before 
yesterday. It did not happen earlier. It has now three hun- 
dred and sixty -three days to run about I suppose you know 
now many days there are in a year ? ; 



456 STORIES AND TALES. 

And this is what the Moor-woman told: 

"There was a great commotion yesterday out here in thf 
marsh ! There was a christening feast ! A little Will o'-the- 
Wisp was born here in fact, twelve of them were born al, 
together ; and they have permission, if they choose to use it, 
to go abroad among men, and to move about and command 
among them, just as if they were born mortals. That was n 
great event in the marsh, and accordingly all the Will o'-the- 
Wisps, male and female, went dancing like little lights across 
the moor. There are some of them of the dog species, but 
those are not worth mentioning. I sat there on the cup- 
board and had all the twelve little new-born Will-o'-the-Wisps 
upon my lap : they shone like glow-worms ; they already be- 
gan to hop, and increased in size every moment, so that be- 
fore a quarter of an hour had elapsed, each of them looked 
just as large as his father or his uncle. Now it 's an old es- 
tablished regulation and favor, that when the moon stands just 
as it did yesterday, and the wind blows just as it blew then, 
it is allowed and accorded to all Will-o'-the-Wisps that is, 
to all those who are born at that minute of time to become 
mortals, and individually to exert their power for the space of 
one year. 

" The Will-o'-the-Wisp may run about in the country and 
through the world, if it is not afraid of falling into the sea, or 
of being blown out by a heavy storm. It can enter into .1 
person, and speak for him, and make all the movements it 
pleases. The Will-o'-the-Wisp may take whatever form he 
likes, of man or woman, and can act in their spirit and in their 
disguise, in such a way that he can effect whatever he wishes 
to do. But he must manage, in the course of the year, to lead 
three hundred and sixty-five people into a bad way, and in a 
grand style, too ; to lead them away from the nght and the 
truth ; and then he reaches the highest point. Such Will-o'- 
the-Wisps can attain to the honor of being a runner before 
the devil's state-coach ; and then he'll wear clothes of fiery 
yellow, and breathe forth flames out of his throat. That's 
enough to make a simple Will-o'-the-Wisp smack his lips. 
But there's some danger in this, and a great deal of work foJ 
i Will-o'-the-Wisp who aspires to play so distinguished a par? 



"THE H'ILL-<y-THE~WISP IS IN THE TOWN." 457 

If the eyes of the man are opened to what he is, and if the 
man can then blow him away, it's all over with him, and he 
must come back into the marsh ; or if, before the year is upj 
the Will-o'-the-Wisp is seized with a longing to see his family, 
and so returns to it and gives the matter up, it is over with 
him likewise, and he can no longer burn clear, and soon be- 
comes extinguished, and cannot be lit up again ; and when 
the year has elapsed, and he has not led three hundred and 
sixty-five people away from the truth and from all that is grand 
and noble, he is condemned to be imprisoned in decayed 
wood, and to lie glimmering there without being able to 
move ; and that's the most terrible punishment that can be in- 
flicted on a lively Will-o'-the-Wisp. 

" Now, all this I know, and all this I told to the twelve 
little Will-o'-the-Wisps whom I had on my lap, and who 
seemed quite crazy with joy. 

" I told them that the safest and the most convenient course 
was to give up the honor, and do nothing at all ; but the 
little flames would not agree to this, and already fancied 
themselves clad in fiery yellow clothes, breathing flames from 
their throats. 

" ' Stay with us,' said some of the older ones. 

" ' Carry on your sport with mortals,' said the others. 

" * The mortals are drying up our meadows ; they've taken 
to draining. What will our successors do ? ' 

'* * We want to flame ; we will flame flame ! ' cried the 
af,w-born Will-o'-the-Wisps. 

" And thus the affair was settled. 

" And now a ball was given, a minute long ; it could not well 
be shorter. The little elf-maidens whirled round three times 
with the rest, that they might not appear proud, but they pre- 
ferred dancing with one another. 

" And now the sponsors' gifts were presented, and presents 
were thrown them. These presents flew like pebbles across 
the sea-water. Each of the elf-maidens gave a little piece of 
her veil. 

" ' Take that,' they said, ' and then you'll know the highei 
dance, the most difficult turns and twists that is to say, if 
you should find them necessary. You'll know the proper de 



STOKIES AND TALES. 

oortTient, and then you can show yourself in the very picfc of 
society.' 

" The night raven taught each of the young Will-o'- the* 
Wisps to say, ' Goo goo good,' and to say it in the light 
place ; and that's a great gift, which brings its own reward. 

" The owl and the stork But they said it was not worth 
mentioning, and so we won't mention it. 

"King Waldemar 1 s wild chase was just then rushing over 
the moor, and when the great lords heard of the festivities 
that were going on they sent a couple of handsome dogs 
which hunt on the spoom of the wind, as a present ; and 
these might carry two or three of the Will-o'-the- Wisps. A 
couple of old Alpas, spirits who occupy themselves with Alp- 
pressing, were also at the feast ; and from these the young 
Will-o'-the-Wisps learned the art of slipping through every 
key-hole as if the door stood open before them. These Alpas 
offered to carry the youngsters to the town, with which they 
were well acquainted. They usually rode through the at- 
mosphere on their own back hair, which is fastened into a 
knot, for they love a hard seat ; but now they sat sideways 
on the wild hunting dogs, took the young Will-o'-the-Wisps 
in their laps, who wanted to go into the town to mislead and 
entice mortals, and, whisk ! away they were. Now this is 
what happened last night. To-day the Will-o'-the-Wisps are 
in the town, and have taken the matter in hand but where 
and how ? Ah, can you tell me that ? Still, I 've a lightning 
conductor in my great toe, and that will always tell me some- 
thing." 

" Why, this is a complete story," exclaimed the man. 

" Yes, but it is only the beginning," replied the woman. 
" Can you tell me how the Will-o'-the-Wisps deport themselves, 
*nd how they behave ? and in what shapes they have afore- 
time appeared and led people into crooked paths ? " 

" I believe," replied the man, " that one could tell quite a 
romance about the Will-o'-the-Wisps, in twelve parts; or, bet 
ter still, one might make quite a popular pla) of them." 

" You might write that," iaid the woman, " but it 's best le< 
tlone." 

"Yes, that's better and more agreeable," the man replied 



THE WILL-O'-THE-WISP IS IN THE TOWN." 



459 



"for then we shall escape from the newspapers, and not be 
tied up by them, which is just as uncomfortable as for a 
Will-o'-the-Wisp to lie in decaying wood, to have to gleam, and 
not be able to stir." 

' I don't care about it either way," cried the woman. " Let 
the rest write, those who can, and those who cannot likewise. 
I'll give you an old bung from my cask, that will open the cup- 
board where poetry is kept in bottles, and you may take frcra 
that whatever may be wanting. But you, my good man, seem 
to have blotted your hands sufficiently with ink, and to have 
come to that age of satiety, that you need not be running 
about every year for stories, especially as there are much more 
important things to be done. You must have understood what 
is going on ? " 

" The Will-o'-the-Wisp is in the town," said the man. " I've 
heard it, and I have understood it. But what do you think I 
ought to do ? I should be thrashed if I were to go to the 
people and say, ' Look : yonder goes a Will-o'-the-Wisp in his 
best clothes ! ' " 

" They also go in undress," replied the woman. u The Will- 
o'-the-Wisp can assume all kinds of forms and appear in every 
place. He goes into the church, but not for the sake of the 
service ; and perhaps he may enter into one or other of the 
priests. He speaks in the Parliament, not for the benefit of 
the country, but only for himself. He's an artist with the 
color-pot as well as in the theatre, but when he gets all the 
power into his own hands, then the pot 's empty ! I chatter 
and chatter, but it must come out, what's sticking in my throat f 
to the disadvantage of my own family. But I must now be 
the woman that will save a good many people. It is not done 
with my good-will, or for the sake of a medal. I do the most 
Insane things I possibly can, and then I tell a poet about it, 
and thus the whole town gets to know of it directly." 

" The town will not take that to heart," observed the man \ 
* that will not disturb a single person ; for they will all think 
I'm only telling them a story if I say, ' The- Will-o'-the-Wisp 
us in the town, says the Moor-woman. Take care of your- 
elves 1 ' " 




THE STORY OF A MOTHER. 

MOTHER sat by her little child : she was very sorrow 
ful, and feared that it would die. Its little face was 
pale, and its eyes were closed. The child drew its breath 
with difficulty, and sometimes so deeply as if it were sighing \ 
and then the mother looked more sorrowfully than before on 
the little creature. 

Then there was a knock at the door, and a poor old man 
came in, wrapped up in something that looked like a great 
horse-cloth, for that keeps warm ; and he required it, for it 
was cold winter. Without, everything was covered with ice 
and snow, and the wind blew so sharply that it cut one's 
face. 

And as the old man trembled with cold, and the child was 
quiet for a moment, the mother went and put some beer on 
the stove in a little pot, to warm it for him. The old man 
sat down and rocked the cradle, and the mother seated her- 
self on an old chair by him, looked at her sick child that 
drew its breath so painfully, and seized the little hand. 

" You think I shall keep it, do you not ? " she asked. " The 
good God will not take it from me ! ' 

And the old man he was Death nodded in such a 
strange way, that it might just as well mean yes as no. And 
the mother cast down hei eyes, and tears rolled down her 
cheeks. Her head became heavy : for three days and three 
nights she had not closed her eyes ; and now she slept, but 
only for a minute ; then she started up and shivered with 
cold. 

" What is that ? " she asked, and looked round on all sides ; 
but the old man was gone, and her little child was gone ; he 
had taken it with him. And there in the corner the old clock 
was humming and whirring ; the heavy leaden weight ram 
down to the floor plump ! and the clock stopped. 



THE STORY OF A MOTHER. 46 1 

But the poor mother rushed out of the hoase crying for hei 
Child 

Out in the snow sat a woman in long black garments, and 
she said, " Death has been with you in your room ; I saw him 
hasten away with your child : he strides faster than the wind, 
and never brings back what he has taken away." 

" Only tell me which way he has gone," said the mother. 
" Tell me the way, and I will find him." 

" I know him," said the woman in the black garments ; 
" but before I tell you, you must sing me all the songs that 
you have sung to your child. I love those songs ; I have 
heard them before. I am Night, and I saw your tears when 
you sang them." 

" I will sing them all, all ! " said the mother. " But do not 
detain me, that I may overtake him, and find my child." 

But Night sat dumb and still. Then the mother wrung her 
hands, and sang and wept. And there were many songs, but 
yet more tears, and then Night said, " Go to the right into 
the dark fir wood ; for I saw Death take that path with your 
little child." 

Deep in the forest there was a cross road, and she did not 
know which way to take. There stood a Blackthorn Bush, 
with not a leaf nor a blossom upon it ; for it was in the cold 
winter time, and icicles hung from the twigs. 

" Have you not seen Death go by, with my little child ? ' : 

" Yes," replied the Bush, " but I shall not tell you which 
way he went unless you warm me on your bosom. I'm freez- 
ing to death here ; I'm turning to ice." 

And she pressed the Blackthorn Bush to her bosom, quite 
close, that it might be well warmed. And the thorns pierced 
into her flesh, and her blood oozed out in great drops. But 
the Blackthorn shot out fresh green leaves, and blossomed in 
the dark winter night : so warm is the heart of a sorrowing 
mother ! And th* Blackthorn Bush told her the way that she 
shsuld go. 

Then she came to a great Lake, on which there were neither 



462 STORIES AND TALES. 

laid herself down to drink the Lake ; and that was impossible 
foi any one to do. But the sorrowing mother thought that 
perhaps a miracle might be wrought. 

" No. that can never succeed," said the Lake. " Let us 
rather see how we can agree. I'm fond of collecting pearls, 
and your eyes are the two clearest I have ever seen : if you 
will weep them out into me I will carry you over into the 
great green-house, where Death lives and cultivates flowers 
and trees ; each of these is a human life." 

" O, what would I not give to get my child ! " said the 
afflicted mother ; and she wept yet more, and her eyes fell 
into the depths of the Lake, and became two costly pearls. 
But the Lake lifted her up, as if she sat in a swing, and she 
was wafted to the opposite shore, where stood a wonderful 
house, miles in length. One could not tell if it was a moun- 
tain containing forests and caves, or a place that had been 
built. But the poor mother could not see it, for she had wept 
her eyes out. 

" Where shall I find Death, who went away with my little 
child ? " she asked. 

" He has not arrived here yet," said an old gray-haired 
Woman, who was going about and watching the hot-house of 
Death. " How have you found your way here, and who 
helped you ? ' 

" The good God has helped me," she replied. " He is 
merciful, and you will be merciful too. Where shall I find 
my little child ? " 

" I do not know it," said the old Woman, " and you cannot 
see. Many flowers and trees have faded this night, and 
Death will soon come and transplant them. You know very 
well that every human being has his tree of life, or his flower 
of life, just as each is arranged. They look like other plants, 
but their hearts beat. Children's hearts can beat too. Think 
of this. Perhaps you may recognize the beating of your 
child's heart. But what will you give me if I tell you what 
more you must do ? " 

" I have nothing more to give," said the afflicted mother 
11 But I will go for you to the ends of the earth." 

" I have nothing for you to do there," said the old Woman 



THE STORY OF A MOTHER. 463 

" but you can give me your long black hair. You must know 
yourself that it is beautiful, and it pleases me. You can take 
my white hair for it, and that is always something." 

" Do you ask for nothing more ? " asked she. " I will give 
you that gladly." And she gave her beautiful hair, and re- 
ceived in exchange the old Woman's white hair. 

And then they went into the great hot-house of Death, where 
flowers and trees were growing marvelously intertwined. 
There stood the fine hyacinths under glass bells, some quite 
fresh, others somewhat sickly ; water snakes were twining 
about them, and black crabs clung tightly to the stalks. 
There stood gallant palm-trees, oaks, and plantains, and 
parsley and blooming thyme. Each tree and flower had its 
name ; each was a human life : the people were still alive, 
one in China, another in Greenland, scattered about in the 
world. There were great trees thrust into little pots, so that 
they stood quite crowded, and were nearly bursting the pots \ 
there was also many a little weakly flower in rich earth, with 
moss round about it, cared for and tended. But the sorrowful 
mother bent down over all the smallest plants, and heard the 
human heart beating in each, and out of millions she recog- 
nized that of her child. 

" That is it ! " she cried, and stretched out her hands over 
i. little crocus flower, which hung down quite sick and pale. 

" Do not touch the flower," said the old dame ; " but place 
yourself here ; and when Death comes I expect him every 
minute then don't let him pull up the plant, but threaten 
him that you will do the same to the other plants ; then he'll 
be frightened. He has to account for them all ; not one may 
be pulled up till he receives commission from Heaven." 

And all at once there was an icy cold rush through the hal!, 
and the blind mother felt that Death was arriving. 

" How did you find your way hither ? "' said he. " How 
have you been able to come quicker than I ? " 

" I am a mother," she answered. 

And Death stretched out his long hands toward the little 
delicate flower ; but she Kept her hands tight about it, and 
held it fast ; and yet she was full of anxious care lest hs 
nhould touch one of the leaves. Then Death breathed upon 



464 STORIES AND TALES. 

her hands, and she felt that his breath was colder than the icj 

wind ; and her hands sank down powerless. 

" You can do nothing against me," said Death. 

" But the merciful God can," she replied. 

" I only do what He commands," said Death. " I am his 
gardener. I take all his trees and flowers, and transplant 
them into the great Paradise gardens, in the unknown land. 
But how they will flourish there, and how it is there, I may 
not tell you." 

" Give me back my child," said the mother ; and she 
implored and wept. All at once she grasped two pretty flow- 
ers with her two hands, and called to Death, " I'll tear off all 
your flowers, for I am in despair." 

" Do not touch them," said Death. '* You say you are so 
unhappy, and now you would make another mother just as 
unhappy! " 

" Another mother ? " said the poor woman ; and she let the 
flowers go. 

" There are your eyes for you," said Death. " I have fished 
them up out of the Lake ; they gleamed up quite brightly. I 
did not know that they were yours. Take them back they 
are clearer now than before and then look down into the 
deep well close by. I will tell you the names of the two flow- 
ers you wanted to pull up, and you will see what you were 
ibout to frustrate and destroy." 

And she looked down into the well, and it was a happiness 
to see how one of them became a blessing to the world, how 
much joy and gladness she diffused around her. And the 
woman looked at the life of the other, and it was made up of 
:are and poverty, misery and woe. 

" Both are the will of God," said Death. 

" Which of them is the flower of misfortune, and which the 
iessed one ? " she asked. 

"That I may not tell you," answered Death; "but this 
<nuch you shall hear, that one of these two flowers is that of 
your child. It was the fate of your child that you saw the 
future of your own child." 

Then the mother screamed aloud for terror. 

" V"hich of tnem belongs to my child ? Tell me thai 



THE STORY OF A MOTHER. 465 

Release the innocent child ! Let my child free from all that 
misery ! Rather carry it away ! Carry it into God's king- 
dom ! Forget my tears, forget my entreaties, and all that J 
have done ! " 

" I do not understand you," said Death. " Will you have 
your child back, or shall I carry it to that place that you 
know not ? " 

Then the mother wrung her hands, and fell on her knees, 
and prayed to the good God. 

" Hear me not when I pray against Thy will, which is at all 
times the best] Hear me not! hear me not !" And she lei 
her head sink down on her bosom. 

And Death went away with her child into the unknowt 
IincL 



WHICH WAS THE HAPPIEST? 

WHAT beautiful roses ! " said the Sunshine. " And each 
bud will soon shoot forth, and become j'ist as hand- 
some. They are my children ! I have kissed them into life ! >: 

" Nay, they are my children ! " said the Dew. " I have 
suckled them with my tears." 

" Indeed they are not ; I am their mother ! " said the Rose- 
bush. "Thou and the Sunshine are but sponsors, who gave 
godmother's gifts according to your means and good-will." 

"My beautiful children!" they all three exclaimed, and 
wished each blossom the greatest fortune ; but only one could 
be most happy, and one had to be least happy : but which of 
them ? 

" That I will ascertain ! " said the Wind. " I roam wildly 
about, I penetrate the narrowest chinks, I know everything 
both within and without ! ' 

Every blown rose heard these words ; every swelling bud 
perceived them. 

Just then a sorrowful, affectionate mother, clad in mourning, 
chanced to walk through the garden. She plucked oae of the 
roses which was only half-blown, yet fresh and full. This 
seemed to her to be the loveliest of them all. She took the 
rose to her quiet, silent chamber, where a few days ago her 
young, bright, and joyous daughter had been moving nimbly 
and merrily up and down ; but now, alas ! lay like a sleeping 
marble image, in the black coffin. The mother kissed her de- 
parted child ; then she kissed the half blown rose, .and laid it 
on the bosom of the young girl, half hoping that by its fiesh- 
uess, and by the kiss of a loving mother, the heart of her ctear 
child might perhaps again begin to beat. 

The Rose seemed to swell ; each leaf quivered with joy 
u What a road of love," it said. " has been granted unto me to 
walk ! I am become like the child of a human being ; I 



WHICH WAS THE HAPPIEST* 467 

receive a mother's kiss ; I hear the words of blessing, and en- 
ter into the unknown realm of bliss, dreaming at the bosom of 
the pale angel ! In truth, I arn become the happiest of all of 
us sisters ! " 

In the garden where the Rose-bush stood, an old woman 
was wanting, who had been employed to weed the garden. 
She also eazed upon the splendid bush, and kept her eyes 
apon the largest fully developed rose. Only a dew-drop, and 
ane hot day more, and the leaves would come off. This the 
old woman saw, and she said that the rose had lived long 
enough for beauty ; now it should also, she meant, be of some 
practical use. So she plucked it, wrapped it up in an old 
newspaper, and took it home to the other pale and faded 
roses, to be pickled, to be potpourri, to go into company with 
the little blue boys named lavenders, and to be embalmed 
with salt. Understand, to be embalmed, that is an honor 
only granted to roses and royal persons. 

" I am the most honored ! " said the Rose, when the weed- 
ing woman took it home. '' I am the happiest ; I arn going to 
be embalmed." 

Now two young men were promenading in the garden. 
One was a Painter, the other was a Poet. Each of them 
plucked a rose, beautiful to behold. The Painter represented 
on the canvas an image of the blooming Rose, an image so 
perfectly beautiful, that the Rose itself supposed that it was 
looking in the glass. 

" Thus," said the Painter, " this Rose shall live through 
many succeeding generations, in which millions on millions of 
roses wither and die." 

" Ah ! I became, aftei all, the most favored ! " said this 
Rose ; " I had the best fortune ! " 

Now the Poet looked at his rose, wrote a poem on it in 
loving, mysterious terms. Indeed, it was a whole pictorial book 
of love which he wrote j it was an immortal piece of poetry. 

" By this book I have become immortal," said the Rose. 
'* I am the most fortunate ! ' 

However, in the ve*y midst of all this splendor of roses, 
there was one almost hidden by the others. Accidentally, per- 
haps fortunately, it had a little deformity, sat a little obliquely 



468 STORIES AND TALES. 

on the stock, and on one side the leaves did not correspond 
to those on the opposite side ; indeed, in the midst of the 
blossom itself even, a little green crippled leaf was about to 
grow up. Such things happen now and then, even to roses. 

" Poor child ! ' : said the Wind, kissing its cheek. The 
Rose believed this kissing to be a greeting and homage. It 
had an idea of being formed somewhat differently from the 
other roses, and that a green leaf was about to grow up in its 
very centre, and this it considered an ornament. A butterfly 
flew down and kissed its leaves. Now the butterfly was a 
wooer, but the Rose discarded him. Then came an immense- 
ly big grasshopper. However, he seated himself on another 
rose, and rubbed his shinbone, which, strange to say, is a 
token of love amongst grasshoppers. The Rose on which he 
was seated did not understand it, but that with the green, crip- 
pled leaf, did ; for upon her the big grasshopper looked with 
eyes that plainly said : " I could eat thee from mere love ! " 
And this is indeed the highest point which love can reach, 
when one is absorbed in the other ! But the Rose resisted, 
and would by no means be absorbed in the jumping dandy. 
Now a nightingale began to sing in the moonlight night. 

" This singing is only in honor of me ; I am serenaded ! " 
said the Rose with the deformity, or with the ornament, as she 
believed it to be. " Why am I thus to be distinguished in 
preference to all my sisters ? Why did I receive this deform- 
ity, I mean this ornament, which makes me the most lucky ? " 

Now two cigar-smoking gentlemen appeared in the garden. 
They spoke of roses and of tobacco. Roses are said rot to be 
aule to endure tobacco smoke ; they fade, become greenish. 
it was to be tested. But the modest gentlemen could not 
persuade themselves to take one of the very finest roses ; 
they took that with the deformity. 

" Indeed, one more honor ! " said the Rose. " I am fortu 
nate in the extreme ! Much more so than any of my sisters 1 " 

But in the midst of this self-conceit and tobacco smoke, 
ehe became greenish yellow. 

One rose, still half bud, but perhaps the most beautiful on 
the bush, was given a place of honor in the gardener's elegant 
bouquet. It was brought to the young, haughty lord of the 



WHICH WAS THE HAPPIEST? 469 

house, and rode with him in his fine cabriolet. It paraded in 
a!) its beauty amongst other fragrant flowers , it shared the 
splendid festivities of the house. Men and women sat gor- 
geously dressed, lighted by a thousand lamps ; the music 
sounded ; the theatre was brilliantly illuminated, as if it were 
an ocean of brightness ; and when the young danseuse, in the 
midst of stormy applause, appeared on the stage, bouquet 
after bouquet flew like a rain of flowers before her feet. There 
the bouquet fell in which the beautiful rose paraded like a di- 
amond star. It felt its whole indescribable happiness ; it felt 
the honor and splendor by which it was surrounded, and 
when touching the flour it also danced ; it leaped for joy, it 
rushed over the stage so that its stem broke off. The young 
danseuse did not get it, for it rolled swiftly behind the cou- 
lisses, where a servant took it up, saw how beautiful and fra- 
grant it was, pocketed it, and when he got home put it into a 
wine-glass filled with water, where it lay all the night. Early in 
the morning it was placed before his grandmother, who sat, 
feeble with age, in her arm-chair. She looked upon the stem- 
less but beautiful rose, delighted in it and in its fragrance. 

" Thou wast not placed upon a rich and fashionable lady's 
table," she said, " but thou earnest to a poor old woman. 
How beautiful thou art ! >: 

And with child-like joy she looked upon the blossom, no 
doubt thinking of her own blooming youth which now had 
passed away. 

" The pane was cracked," said the Wind. * I got easily in, 
sa^- the old woman's youthful bright eyes, and the stem less, 
yet beautiful Rose in the wine-glass. Indeed, the happiest of 
them all ! I know it ! I can tell it ! " 

Each rose on the bush in the garden had its own history. 

Each rose believed, and thought itself the happiest, and it is 

faith that makes us happy. Yet the last Rose believed itseli 

the very happiest. " I survive them all," it said ; " I am the 

ast, the only one, mother's dearest child ! " 

" And I am the mother of all of them," said the Rose-bush. 

" No, / am ! " said the Sunshine. 

"And //" said -he Dew. 

* Each has a part in it ! " the Wind finally said ; " and each 



470 



STORIES AND TALES. 



shall hive a part of it! " and then the Wind strewed its leaves 
out over the hedge where the dew-drops lay, and where tha 
sun was shining. " I got also my part," said the Wind, " for 
I got the history of all the roses which I will launch into 
the wide world ! Tell me, then : Which was most happy of 
tnem all ? That thou must tell, Sunshine, for I think I 
aid enough 1 " 



THE DROP OF WATER. 

SURELY you know what a microscope is that wondfii- 
ful glass which makes everything appear a hundred times 
larger than it really is. If you look through a microscope at 
a single drop of ditch-water, you will perceive more than a 
thousand strange-shaped creatures, such as you never could 
imagine dwelling in the water. It looks not unlike a plateful 
of shrimps, all jumping and crowding upon each other ; and 
so ferocious are these little creatures, and they will tear off 
each other's arms and legs without mercy ; and yet they are 
happy and merry after their fashion. 

Now there was once an old man, whom all his neighbors 
called Cribbley Crabbley, a curious name to be sure ! He 
always liked to make the best of everything, and, when he 
could not manage it otherwise, he tried magic. 

So one day he sat with his microscope held up to his eye, 
looking at a drop of ditch-water. O, what a strange sight was 
Jiat ! All the thousand little imps in the water were jumping 
and springing about, and devouring each other, or pulling each 
other to pieces. 

" Upon my word, this is too horrible ! "' quoth old Cribbley 
Crabbley ; "there must surely be some means of making them 
live in peace and quiet." And he thought and thought, but 
still could not hit on the right expedient. " I must give them 
a color," he said at last ; " then I shall be able to see them 
more distinctly." And accordingly he let fall into the water a 
tiny drop of something that looked like red wine, but in reality 
it was witches' blood ; whereupon all the strange little crea- 
tures immediately became red all over, not unlike the Red 
Indians ; the drop of water now seemed a whole townfal of 
naked wild men. 

" What have you there ? " inquired another old magician, 
who had no name at all, which made him more remarkable 
even than Cribbley Crabblev. 



472 STORIES AND TALES. 

"Well, if you can guess what it is," replied Ciibbley 
Crabbley, '* I will give it you ; but I warn you, you'll not find 
it out so easily." 

And the magician without a name looked through the mi- 
croscope. The scene now revealed to his eyts actually re* 
sembled a town where all the inhabitants were running about 
without clothing ; it was a horrible sight ! But still more hor- 
rible was it to see how they kicked and cuffed, struggled and 
fought, pulled and bit each other. All those that were lowest 
must needs strive to get uppermost, and all those that were 
highest must be thrust down. " Look, look ! " they seemed 
to be crying out, " his leg is longer than mine ; pah ! off with 
it ! And there is one who has a little lump behind his ear, 
an innocent little lump enough, but it pains him, and it 
shall pain him more ! " And they hacked at it, and seized 
hold of him, and devoured him, merely because of this little 
lump. Only one of the creatures was quiet, very quiet, and 
still ; it sat by itself, like a little modest damsel, wishing for 
nothing but peace and rest. But the others would not have 
it so ; they pulled the little damsel forward, cuffed her, cut 
at her, and ate her. 

" This is most uncommonly amusing," remarked the name- 
less magician. 

" Do you think so ? Well, but what is it ? " asked Cribbley 
Crabbley. " Can you guess, or can you not ? that's the 
question." 

" To be sure I can guess," was the reply of the nameless 
magician, "easy enough. It is either Copenhagen or some 
other large city ; I don't know which, for they are all alikii, 
It is some large city." 

(l It is a drop o f ditch-water ! " said Cribbley Grabble/. 



THE SHEPHERDESS AND THE CHIMNEY-SWEEP 

HAVE you ever seen a very, very old clothes-press, quita 
black with age, on which all sorts of flourishes and fo- 
liage were carved ? Just such a one stood in a certain room. 
It was a legacy from a grandmother, and it was carved frora 
top to bottom with roses and tulips ; the most curious flour- 
ishes were to be seen on it, and between them little stags 
popped out their heads with zigzag antlers. But on the top a 
whole man was carved. True, he was laughable to look at ; 
for he showed his teeth, laughing one could not call it, 
had goat's legs, little horns on his head, and a long beard. 
The children in the room always called him General-clothes- 
press-inspector-head-superintendent Goatslegs, for this was a 
name difficult to pronounce, and there are very few who get 
the title ; but to cut him out in wood that was no trifle. 
However, there he was. He looked down upon the table and 
toward the mirror, for there a charming little porcelain Shep- 
herdess was standing. Her shoes were gilded, her gown was 
tastefully looped up with a red rose, and she had a golden hat 
and cloak ; in short, she was most exquisite. Close by stood 
a little Chimney-sweep, as black as a coal, but of porcelain 
too. He was just as clean and pretty as another ; as to his 
being a sweep, that was only what he represented ; and the 
porcelain manufacturer could just as well have made a prince 
of him as a chimney-sweep, if he had chosen ; one was as 
easy as the other. 

There he stood so prettily with his ladder, and with a little 
lound face as fair and as rosy as that of the Shepherdess. In 
reality this was a fault ; for a little black he certainly ought to 
have been. He was quite close t<? the Shepherdess ; both 
stood where they had been placed ; and as soon as they were 
put there, they had mutually promised each other eternal 
fidelity ; for they suited each otner exactly they were young, 
they were of the same porcelain, and both equally fragile. 



474 STORIES AND TALES. 

Close to them stood another figure three times as large as 
they were. It was an old Chinese, that could nod his head. 
He was of porcelain too, and said that he was grandfather of 
the little Shepherdess ; but this he could not prove. He as- 
serted, moreover, that he had authority over her, and that was 
the reason he had nodded his assent to the General-clothes- 
press-inspector-head-superintendent Goatslegs, who paid his 
addresses to the Shepherdess. 

"In him," said the old Chinese, "you will have a husband 
who, I verily believe, is of mahogany. You will be Mrs. 
Goatslegs, the wife of a General-clothes-press-inspector-head' 
superintendent, who has his shelves full of plate, besides what 
is hidden in secret drawers and recesses." 

** I will not go into the dark cupboard," said the little Shep- 
herdess ; " I have heard say that he has eleven wives of por- 
celain in there already." 

" Then you may be the twelfth," said the Chinese. " To- 
night, as soon as the old clothes-press cracks, as sure as I am 
a Chinese, we will keep the wedding." And then he nodded 
his head, and fell asleep. 

But the little Shepherdess wept, and looked at her beloved 
at the porcelain Chimney-sweep. 

" I implore you," said she, " fly hence with me ; for here it 
is impossible for us to remain." 

" I will do all you ask," said the little Chimney-sweep. 
** Let us leave this place. I think my trade will enable me to 
support you." 

" If we were only down from the table," said she. " I shall 
not be happy till we are far from here, and free." 

He consoled her, and showed her how she was to set her 
little foot on the carved border and on the gilded foliage 
which twined around the leg of the table, brought his ladder 
to her assistance, and at last both were on the floor ; but 
whan they looked toward the old clothes-press, they observed 
a great stir. All the carved stags stretched their heads out 
farther, raised their antlers, and turned round their heads. 
The General-clothes-press-inspector-head-superintendent gav 
a jump, and called to the old Chinese, "They are eloping 
dbey are eloping ! " 



THE SHEPHERDESS AND THE CHIMNEY SWEEP. 475 

At this she grew a little frightened, and jumped quickly 
over the ridge into the drawer. 

Here lay three or four packs of cards, which were not com- 
plete, and a little puppet-show, which was set up as well as it 
was possible to do. A play was being performed, and all tha 
ladies, Diamonds as well as Hearts, Clubs, and Spades, sat ia 
the front row, and fanned themselves with the tulips they he!c 
in their hands, while behind them stood the varlets. The play 
was about two persons who could not have each other, at 
which the Shepherdess wept, for it was her own history. 

" I cannot bear it longer," said she ; " I must get out of 
the drawer." 

But when she had got down on the floor, and looked up to 
the table, she saw that the old Chinese was awake, and that 
his whole body was rocking. 

" The old Chinese is coming ! " cried the little Shepherd- 
ess ; and down she fell on her porcelain knee, so frightened 
was she. 

" A thought has struck me," said the Chimney-sweep ; 
"let us creep into the great Pot-pourri Jar that stands in the 
corner ; there we can lie on roses and lavender, and if he 
comes after us, throw dust in his eyes." 

" 'Tis of no use," said she. " Besides, I know that the old 
Chinese and the Pot-pourri Jar were once betrothed; and 
when one has been once on such terms, a little regard always 
lingers behind. No ; for us there is nothing left but to wan 
der forth into the wide world." 

" Have you really courage to go forth with me into the 
wi.de world ? " asked the Chimney-sweep tenderly. " Have 
you considered how large it is, and that we can never come 
back here again ? ' 

" I have," said she. 

And the Sweep gazed fixedly upon her, and then said, " My 
way lies up the chimney. Have you really courage to go with 
me through the stove, and to creep through all the flues ? 
We shall then get into the main flue, after which I am not 
at a loss what to do. Uf we mount, then, so high, that they 
;an never reach us ; and at the top is an opening that lead! 
out into the world." 



STORIES AND TALES. 

And he led her toward the door of the stove. 

" It looks quite black," said she ; but still she went wit!: 
him, and on through all the intricacies of the mtsrior, and 
through the flues, where a pitchy darkness reigned. 

"We are now in the chimney," said she ; " and behold, be- 
held, above us is shining the loveliest star ! " 

It was a real star in the sky that shone straight down upon 
them, as if to show them the way. They climbed and they 
crept higher and higher. It was a frightful way ; but he lifted 
her up, he held her, and showed her the best places on which 
to p'lt her little porcelain feet ; and thus they reached the top 
of the chimney, and seated themselves on the edge of it ; for 
they were tired, which is not to be wondered at 

The heaven and all its stars were above them, and all the 
roofs of the town below them ; they could see far around, far 
away into the world. The poor Shepherdess had never pic- 
tured it to herself thus ; she leaned her little head on her 
Sweep, and wept so bitterly that all the gilding of her girdle 
came off. 

" O, this is too much!' 1 said she; "I cannot bear it. 
The world is too large. O, were I but again on the little 
table under the looking-glass ! I shall never be happy till J. 
am there again. I have followed you into the wide world ; 
now, if you really love me, you may follow me home again." 

And the Chimney-sweep spoke sensibly to her, spoke to her 
about the old Chinese and the General-clothes-press-inspec- 
tor-head-superintendent ; but she sobbed so violently, and 
kissed her little Sweep so passionately, that he was obliged to 
give way, although it was not right to do so. 

So now down they climbed again with great difficulty, crept 
through the flue, and into the stove, where they listened be- 
hind the door, to discover if anybody was in the room. 11 
was quite still ; they peeped, and there, on the floor, in 
th2 middle of the room, lay the old Chinese. He had fallen 
"torn the table in trying to follow the fugitives, and was broken 
in three pieces ; his whole back was but a stump, and his 
head had rolled into a corner, while General-clothes press* 
ins